Ranks attached to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) have found themselves having to pay in excess of $2.3M back to the Force as payments for damaging vehicles for 2018 thus far.
This is according to Commissioner of Police (ag), David Ramnarine on Wednesday, as he sought to reprimand the officers who have found themselves involved in vehicular accidents- be it with their own vehicles or state-owned ones.
“In six months, this year, 18 occasions where members of the Force, driving Force vehicles were involved in accidents where they were responsible for causing that accident and the damages amounting to some $2,394,000. They have been made to repay, or to pay for the cost of that damage. Some ten ranks have already completed payments and others have some more time to pay,” he said, while maintaining that “that is the position we have to enforce” since ranks continue to disregard warnings.
In providing statistics, Ramnarine said that from July 2016 to June 2017, 18 members of the GPF were involved in various accidents while driving vehicles belonging to the Force. In addition, from July 2017 to June 2018, 23 ranks were involved in same.
“A total of 41 ranks, including seven subordinate officers and 34 constables. Add this to another 18 ranks over the two years period, being involved in various accidents with their private vehicles,” the Police Commissioner said, while seeking to remind the officers of the oath they have taken upon joining the Force.
“We have taken an oath. We wear the uniform. We have had training and learning and therefore we must conduct ourselves a lot better than we do.”
As such, the acting Top Cop urged ranks to be more responsible on the roadways, while executing their duties.
“We have long since abandoned and preached against speeding and reckless driving. We have only permitted that in emergency situations and situations where…there is great danger to public safety if you don’t take a certain course of action but in normal circumstances…please use your judgement!” he asserted.
Ramnarine said that the GPF will no longer tolerate such reprehensible and disrespectful behaviour from ranks, who continue to breach road rules and traffic regulations, and as such, called on the officers once again to set the example through good private and public conduct when using the roadways and adhering to regulations.
Police ranks were recently entrusted with the use and care of some US$2.6 million worth of crime-fighting vehicles granted to the GPF by the Chinese Government.
The GPF was granted 56 pick-up trucks, 44 motorcycles, 35 ATVs as well as five buses, carrying the signature blue and white finish and sirens. Accompanying these were a total of 550 items of protective gear, 70 computers (both desktops and laptops) along with other technical equipment; all aimed at improving the efficiency of the country’s crime-fighting force.