In expressing confidence in the ability of Community Policing Groups (CPGs) to carry out their functions, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said these groups could assist in a major way to tackle the illegal entry of foreigners, especially from neighbouring Venezuela, into Guyana.In addressing a media conference on Monday that was called to discuss preparations to mark the 42nd anniversary of community policing in Guyana, the Minister said there was room for CPGs to play a much greater role in this level of policing in Guyana’s border regions, to assist law enforcement agencies.Minister Ramjattan said there have been calls for members of CPGs to enhanceCPGs Administrator, retired Senior Superintendent of Police, Dennis Pompeythis level of local security as he expressed confidence in their capacity to carry out this function. “There have been calls from people especially who own shops. They have indicated to me that they would like to set up some CPGs … to also enhance their security,” he explained.The Ministry is also considering the option of having outstanding citizens given precepts that would allow them to have some policing powers, especially since there are limited Police in far-flung communities that border Venezuela. These persons would have to come under one of the CPGs.Asked whether there is information sharing from these interior locations and special intelligence in those areas, Ramjattan said while there might not be classic intelligence, he would encourage it. “We want information. So, if they see strangers and they see Venezuelans coming in and doing a couple of things, we would like them to telephone us at the headquarters at the Ministry,” he added.President David Granger had instructed the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to brief the parliamentary committee on security on the steps that were being taken to secure communities located along the border with Venezuela as a result of the unstable situation in that country, as well as the ongoing border controversy.The Head of State also indicated that he expected that even as Government continued to work at the central and regional levels to ensure security in the border regions, civil society would be fully briefed. The Guyana-Venezuela border controversy was recently referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).Meanwhile, CPGs were also hailed for the work they have done in various crime-fighting areas. Most notably, however, was their recent involvement in helping the Police crack down on carjacking. CPGs have been credited for cracking many such cases and also assisting the Police in the arrest of several wanted persons who had set up havens in communities across the country.The Administrator of CPGs, retired Senior Superintendent of Police, Dennis Pompey said CPGs were making a valuable contribution to crime fighting and continued to help to make communities across the country much safer.Persons forming these CPGs are trained mostly in conflict resolution, Trafficking In Persons, anger management, as well as how to deal with violence, suicide, and noise nuisance, among other issues.Minister Ramjattan also expressed satisfaction with the work of the CPGs, although he was responsible for taking away equipment, including vehicles, that hampered these groups from executing their duties. The Minister did admit to this at Monday’s press conference, stating that it has been difficult to get back the vehicles they took from the CPGs and gave to Police.Ramjattan said he believed that far more could be done and urged that more residents become involved, especially in areas where the crime rates were high.He also addressed the need for Community Policing Officers and Policemen and women to develop better working relationships. “Some Policemen do not like scrutiny of policing groups and that is bad, especially if you have nothing to hide. Police must be more accommodating of CPGs,” he opined.Nevertheless, Minister Ramjattan said he was doing everything possible to address issues whereby some CPG members undertake nefarious activities and leak information to the criminal underworld. He noted that it was a matter of concern and key attention was paid to how these groups operate; hence, the need for coordination and objectivity in the way they were organised and how they operated.There were over 5765 CPG patrols for 2017. The CPGs also have a membership of 4304 and have assisted the Police in making over 50 arrests in serious cases. Members will be recognised for the roles they played in the discovery of illegal aircraft and airstrips in Guyana’s hinterland regions.The anniversary of the CPGs will be observed between March 1 and April 21.