Opposition team raises concerns during meeting with Top Cop

Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon

Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon today led a delegation of APNU+AFC members to a meeting with the Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie along with senior members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

Joining the meeting were Khemraj Ramjattan, Roysdale Force, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, Christopher Jones, and Aubrey Norton.

The APNU+AFC Opposition, in a statement, posited that “we reiterated our support for the work of the Guyana Police Force and expressed that we recognise that the vast majority of the members of the force try to execute their duties in a professional manner.”

The Opposition team also raised concerns about the enforcement of the Covid-19 measures and called for stricter enforcement across the country. In this regard, the Opposition said they were assured by the Top Cop that the GPF is responsive in enforcing the Covid-19 measures and that he pointed to the resuscitation of Community Policing Groups to aid in this operation.

Moreover, the Opposition raised concerns about the investigations into the murders of Joel and Isaiah Henry as well as Haresh Singh – three teenagers who were brutally killed last year in West Berbice.

“We underscored our disappointment in the sloth in the investigations of the Henry cousins murder and that of Haresh Singh. The Commissioner gave his assurance that the matter was under investigation and that a conviction is forthcoming in the murder of Haresh Singh,” the Opposition said in the statement. Notwithstanding the sentiments expressed by the Opposition, three persons have already been remanded for the murders of the Henry boys.

Another issue raised by the Opposition during the meeting was that of the use of police lights on sirens by non-emergency vehicles.

“We raised the issue of the sudden phenomenon of numerous non-emergency vehicles being observed indiscriminately using police lights and sirens. We outlined that this development could lead members of the public to become hesitant or reluctant to yield to vehicles using sirens given that they may be uncertain as to whether it is a legitimate emergency given the proliferation of non-emergency vehicles which are now using police lights and sirens,” the Opposition explained.

The APNU+AFC said the Top Cop indicated that he has put together a team to examine this and make certain decisions which are expected shortly.

Meanwhile, the Opposition expressed that the meeting between the APNU+AFC and the leadership of the GPF is “overdue”.

“It is our view that the meeting was overdue. We believe it allowed us an opportunity to outline to the Commissioner our concerns and advise him that should the situation not improve in the coming weeks we may exercise options that are allowable under the laws of Guyana,” the APNU+AFC said.

The coalition noted that the Police Commissioner was “receptive, understood our concerns and disappointments with the performance of the Guyana Police Force and gave his commitment to look into a number of the matters which were raised.”