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.
excellent piece comrade Ralph, captures the problem in its entirety and from the simplest of angles, the Guyana police force has been a chronic problem mainly because it has been subjected to political manipulation and poor entrance requirement, they say if you want to see a man’s true character give him power, the arrogant members of the police force highlight this, also like you have highlighted the Judicial system needs to be rekindled to do its part in the fight, excellent piece once again.
The local Guyanese population have been pleading for this for many many many years. The police force cannot continue to conduct business the way they do. But the ordinary people in Guyana really have no voice. Their interest, protection and general well being have been ignored and sadly this continue to be the situation.
I want to share an encounter I had with a police patrol on Christmas eve of last year (2012). I was stopped on my way to Sheriff Street around 7 PM on the railway embankment and a policeman who was part of the road block demanded to know where i was going, where i was coming from and then continued his interrogation as to whether I went and give ‘Blow’. Now I know humor when I hear it, but this was serious, threatening and very intimidating.
At no time was i asked for documents, told what the patrol was looking for, or did the rude, obnoxious bad example of a law enforcement officer even suggested that i looked like a criminal and hence the warranted intimidation. I had to conclude that i was subjected to police intimidation for no reason, this is now my birth right. This is what a decent, law abiding citizen gets on Christmas eve for not even remotely breaking any law,
So what do you do? Well I could have taken him up on his conduct, but scanning the bunch, i did not see a senior commissioned or non commissioned officer. The risk of being shot, locked up or further delayed and intimated for speaking up was great. Sadly to say that many of my country men and women are trampled upon everyday. Policemen are geniuses at taking advantage of the harmless and decent citizens and steering clear of the criminal elements in our society.
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