Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken, who was recently appointed Commander of ‘B’ Division (Berbice) hit the ground running last week when he met with various stakeholders in Region Six and promised a better relationship between the police and citizens of the ancient county as well as the implementation of various strategies to further reduce crime.
Hicken met with the Regional Chairman of Region Six, David Armogan, and Mayor of New Amsterdam, Winifred Haywood, soon after arriving in Berbice.
During a meeting with reporters, Hicken related that his focus in Berbice would be to ensure that the police serve the public. That is what we were employed to do and that is what exactly will happen,” he stressed.
He added, “We will ensure that the corporate sector is comfortable in terms of doing their business without persons impeding on their rights, meaning robbery and violence and the rest of it.”
Hicken noted that the division will be working along with Community Policing Groups (CPGs) and with the faith based organisations to further their mandate. “We will work with the CPG executives and the CPG at large, so you are expected to see mass patrols coming out of the division, we’re expecting to see cooperation with the communities”.
The new commander further added that he will be going into various communities to conduct research, which will be used to build capacity among the residents. “…Depending on the communities where we have any acts of violence [perpetuating], we are going to go into those communities first and develop capacity with the youths in terms of skills training and then generally we are going to all the communities in Berbice so that we can build a better relationship and trust in the police,” he explained.
Hicken also traversed the streets of New Amsterdam on Friday, meeting various businesses persons, vendors, shoppers and even school children who were present. Persons within the township seemed shocked by Hicken’s presence on the ground. He informed the citizens that he has an open door policy and invited them to visit.
During his interaction with hire car drivers, some highlighted that there is limited space at the East Bank Berbice car park. “We does got to drive and circle and circle because no space to stop,” one driver said.
Attempting to solve the issue on the spot, Hicken said that a traffic rank would be placed at the park to help address the situation. He also appealed to drivers to not break the law.
Meanwhile, during his visit to the New Amsterdam Market, vendors noted that teenagers and young adults would often steal items from their stalls and escape. The commander told the vendors that uniformed ranks, CPG officers and plain clothes ranks would be placed to patrol the market on a daily basis.
Furthermore, Hicken met with a few school boys who were liming in front of the market, as this has become a norm for school children after school in the town. Hicken encouraged the lads to remove their earrings and to proceed home. He also stressed to them the importance of an education.