The Guyana Police Force offers protection and security to the citizens of Guyana. When, therefore the Acting Commissioner undertakes to improve rapport with the public and investigate misconduct and corruption, it should be welcomed.
Previous Commissioners have given such undertakings in the past, but the fact that they have had to be repeated again and again. It is because the problems of misconduct and corruption are not going away. There is no doubt that efforts have been made to deal with these problems but they are not effective. I encouraged two young men to make complaints to the Office of Professional Responsibility about the conduct two instances of misbehavior of traffic policemen and they were literally laughed out of the room without the traffic policemen even being summoned to answer.
The Guyana Police Force cannot continue in the same way and with the same systems because the situation is getting worse. Let me explain why. During last year two young men going about their lawful business were robbed at the point of a gun by two other young men. One was badly beaten. The robbers were identified, caught and arrested. They freely and voluntarily gave confession statements. No effort was made to question them about or to find the gun. Instead of being held in custody, charged and taken to court as soon as possible, they were then released from Police custody without bail and without being charged and then promptly disappeared. The victims of the crime had to locate the released robbers and then seek the slothful help of the Police to re-arrest them. They were released again and the procedure had to be repeated. When they were about to be charged, their filed had no statements. Their confession statements had disappeared. The process of prosecuting them, riddled with delays, incompetence and worse, eventually concluded and justice was done. Less resourced and committed victims would not have received the justice they deserved. They laughed when I recommended a complaint to the Office of Professional Responsibility.
All law abiding citizens, who comprise the vast majority of the population, ought to feel a sense of comfort when they approach or are approached by the Police. They do not. They approach in fear or are afraid when approached.