Ranks made to repay over $2M for damaging police vehicles
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has seen a total of 41 ranks involved in road accidents while driving vehicles belonging to the Force from July 2016 to June 2018.
Of the sum, 18 of the accidents occurred between July 2016 and June 2017 and 23 between July 2017 and June 2018. There were an additional 18 cops who were involved in accidents with their private vehicles.
As such, Commissioner of Police (ag), David Ramnarine said a zero-tolerance approach has been taken against such actions and the ranks are being made to pay for the damages incurred.
Speaking at the Force’s Awards ceremony at the Tactical Services Unit Drill Square, Eve Leary, Georgetown on Wednesday, he disclosed that the officers were made to repay $2, 000, 394 in total for the first half of 2018. Ten of the officers have completed their payments.
No police officer is above the law, he told those gathered at the ceremony on Wednesday.
“We have taken an oath, we wear the uniform, we have higher training and learning and therefore must conduct ourselves a lot better than we do,” the Top Cop said.
Given that the majority of the recorded road accidents are caused by speeding and inattentiveness, the Top Cop outlined that only under emergency cases, officers are allowed to speed –this does not include chasing after an unregistered motorcycle or other minor offences.
“We have only permitted that in emergency situations and situations where you are fired upon and there is great danger to public safety if you don’t take a certain course of action,” the Top Cop said.
He urged officers to “use their judgement.”
The acting Commissioner said several persons have also been dismissed from the force for breaking traffic laws.
Several instances of police vehicles being involved in accidents were reported on in the media. Recently, a police jeep toppled four times before crashing into the house at De Hoop, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara.
Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan has even condemned the actions of the ranks.