By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Parliamentarian and Member of the main opposition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) James Bond has boldly admitted that he would ‘top up’ police officers whenever they request it.
Bond made the revelation during the radio programme, ‘Hard Talk’ on 90.1 FM on Sunday, May 18. He was at the time discussing crime and security with Former President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Founder of Blue Caps, Clinton Urling and Head of the E – Governance Project, Alexei Ramotar, with Christopher Chapwanya as the moderator.
During the discussions, Bond made it clear that he does not ‘bribe’ the police officers. His contention is that police officers are severely underpaid in Guyana.
“I make sure I top up a Police Officer. Whenever they ask me, ‘Mr Bond leh I get something.’ Right away. That is not a bribe. I give them a raise. I don’t say no. if I have it, I give it,” the Parliamentarian revealed.
He lamented the fact that citizens have complete distrust in the Police Force.
“A police Officer is doing his normal patrols, they see an afro Guyanese, Rastafarian, he has on a coat and he is riding. The police stop him. According to the Rastaman, the police search him and some officers came out and picked up a gun from the grass and say ‘this is you own, you throw this away.’
“But all the police officers in their statement said they found the gun in the man’s waist.”
Meanwhile, Urling in his contribution noted that the Police Force is facing serious institutional and leadership issues.
“The Police Force is by no means perfect. There is a big resource constraint in terms of manpower and equipment. Their salaries need to be increased and more training is needed in terms of crime solving,” the Former GCCI Head said.
However, Ramotar during his contribution said that the Police have come a far way in training and believes that most of the Police Officers he knows are friendly people.
The Police Force has come under heavy criticism recently for using excessive force when executing their duties. The most recent case is the shooting of 15 – year – old Alex Griffith in his mouth.
Guyanese professionals need training on bribery and corruption. Mr. Bond may mean well, but his actions can be construed as a bribe because it has the potential to skew the officers judgement in any future interaction involving Mr. Bond or his associates.
A cop getting a “top up” or a “raise” from a government minister, regardless of party affiliation is a BRIBE. What happens to the rest of us who encounters one of them in an “illegal stop/arrest” and don’t have a “top up” to give?These are government employees, with a salary. If Mr. Bond is concerned that perhaps, they are not being paid enough, then, “after he has taken his foot out of his mouth” he should request proper salary for the law enforcement. What the hell is happening in that country?