15 corrupt Police ranks dismissed for 2016; 24 before the courts
In an effort to regain the trust of the public which has been declining in recent years, the Guyana Police Force has been wasting no time in dealing with corrupt police officers.
A report recently released by USAID on Human Rights, Democracy and Governance in Guyana stated that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is the least trusted institution in Guyana – a country with high levels of crime and violence–and urgently needs to strengthen its investigation and prosecution capacity since it currently records a dismal 90 percent failure rate.
During a Press Conference on Friday, Assistant Commissioner of Police, David Ramnarine said while this may have been the case, it is not in the recent past.
The report was conducted in late 2015.
Public Trust is something that is a very broad-based and multifaceted topic, Ramnarine said and it should not be made an issue for the Guyana Police Force alone.
“I want to make this point to all members of the force and potential entrants, particularly at the junior level, it has changed, we have a long line of applicants waiting to join the force so we are not going to hesitate to make the decision that when you join, you take the training and graduate and behave as though you are a god onto yourself; you are going to besmirch the image of the force, not understanding that the image of the country is at stake by your actions; we have to let you go, we are not going to keep you,” Ramnarine affirmed.
Ramnarine disclosed that the force has dismissed 15 police officers so far for 2016 for offences relating to corrupt transactions, firearm, assault, simple larceny, narcotics and even rape. This is an increase since the force dismissed 12 ranks in the whole of 2015 for same offences. Additionally, 21 ranks were interdicted in 2015 and already for 2016, 24 ranks who are before the courts have been interdicted for offences ranging from attempted murder to assault.
Additionally, the acting commissioner pointed out that there has been an increase in court cases brought against interdicted ranks. In 2015, 21 ranks were interdicted for offences ranging from conspiring to commit murder to assault. This year that number stands at 24 interdicted ranks for offences ranging from attempted murder to assault. The Police Commissioner Acting assured that in all these instances, ranks were subjected to due process.
Meanwhile, Ramnarine acknowledged that “a large percentage of lower level” ranks of the GPF consists of young people who lack “much-needed experience, patience (and) tolerance”, but assured that efforts to strengthen their capacity continue. “It’s got to be constant supervision, you’ve got to be driving in their head all the time, they’ve taken an oath to serve… that their conduct and their discharge of those responsibilities are always under focus,” Ramnarine said.
Ramnarine called on all members of the public to stop condoning corrupt ranks and whenever they make reports about a rank or ranks being corrupt, they ought to follow through the process to its finality if justice is to be served.
On Wednesday of this week, Minister Ramjattan also made some comments with respect to the report which was released by the United States where he noted that several complaints were received in relation to the conduct of police officers.
In this regard, he used to opportunity to call on members of the force to ‘get their act together.’