NCPP working to make Chaguanas a safe city
The National Crime Prevention Programme’s (NCPP) Community Crime Prevention Council (CCPC) of Chaguanas recently hosted a meeting where a wide cross-section of community volunteers and civil society groups met and pledged their support to mobilise their networks to make Chaguanas a safer, more secure and resilient city. The meeting was held on Monday 12th November, 2018, at the Chaguanas Borough Corporation’s building.
Along with residents, also in attendance at the meeting were representatives from the Lions Club, Rotary, REACT, Community Police, the Route 3 Maxi Taxi Association, Crime Stoppers, the Single Fathers Association, the Humanitarian Association, Freely Give Foundation, the Perseverance Village Women’s Organisation and the Ryu Dan Dojo Youth Empowerment Centre.
Mayor of Chaguanas, His Worship Alderman Gopaul Boodhan chaired the meeting. In his address, Mayor Boodhan commended the burgesses and civil society groups for answering the call to serve their community. He said that persons in attendance “represent the pulse of our city and with your commitment, Chaguanas has the potential to become the safest city in Trinidad and Tobago.”
National Coordinator of the NCPP, Major General (Retired) Rodney Smart also addressed the audience. Major General Smart emphasised that the NCPP “represents an innovative, national intervention focused on community collaboration, empowerment and action.” The programme is being implemented through the CCPCs.
Referring to the recent floods, Major General Smart reminded residents that quite often in a crisis, “neighbours become the first responders in a community and this is similar in the case of crime”. He urged the gathering to become “more committed to working together as a team, to reverse current crime trends in their community, while simultaneously developing preventative strategies to nip emerging trends in the bud”.
At the meeting, attendees deliberated on the pressing issues facing the Chaguanas community. Among the issues discussed were the need for research to be conducted to inform planning and implementation, greater youth involvement and resilience against crime, community counselling services, creation of safe zones, improved parenting, and the security of senior citizens and single mothers.
In the closing segment of the meeting, attendees stated that they were leaving satisfied that they had contributed to the work that was already in progress. Commitments were given to return for a similar gathering which will take place on Monday 26 November 2018 at 5:00 p.m., where there will be further development and prioritization of sustainable and practical community solutions to crime prevention.
The CCPC operates under the umbrella of the National Crime Prevention Programme (NCPP), an initiative launched in July 2018 by the Ministry of National Security. The programme is currently in its first phase and similar CCPCs have been established in Diego Martin in collaboration with the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, as well as in Tobago under the auspices of the Tobago House of Assembly. The NCPP represents a partnership between the Government and the citizenry, which takes a “ground-up, whole of Government, whole of society” approach to crime prevention.