… 27 charged so far for criminal offences in 2017
Just hours after two high-ranking Police Officers were charged for the murder of a businessman, acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine blasted the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for the increasing number of charges laid against ranks implicated in criminal offences.
He lashed out at the rogue behaviour at the closing ceremony of four training programmes at the Police Officers Training College on Thursday.
On the heels of the news of once Best Cop Derwin Eastman and Officer Jamison Williams being charged for the murder of businessman Godfrey Scipio, also called “Saga”, Ramnarine slammed the Force saying, “It seems as though when we make some strides forward, by our own design we seem to go backwards. And it ought not to be in an organisation that can deliver so much.”
The acting Commissioner pointed out the significance of being an officer attached to the GPF, thereby underlining the high expectations that come with the job.
“Our role in the security environment is perhaps the most important role to play in public security in this country, and some of us are playing with it and toying with it and think that we can get off with it,” Ramnarine outlined.
Even as he acknowledged that Police Officers, like civilians, are prone to making mistakes and could make wrong decisions from time to time, he reminded the ranks of their oath to protect and serve.
As such, he emphasised, “We must not forget that the average member of the public did not take an oath. We who wear uniform took an oath and that is why we must be held to that standard.”
With that, the acting Commissioner of Police reiterated that great levels of professionalism are expected from officers at all times.
“You cannot be a professional in the line of work we do for the eight or 10 hours you are on duty and you’re not a professional when you’re off duty. It does not work. Learned people would never buy that idea,” he contended.
During his tirade, Ramnarine took the opportunity to point out some of the recent incidents which have seen ranks of the GPF being implicated in crimes. In doing so, he noted, 27 of the Force’s Officers have been charged for criminal offences for the year thus far.
Meanwhile, the acting Top Cop further presented statistics on the number of complaints filed against Police Officers in recent years. For 2015, that total amounted to 619 complaints.
Complaints saw a decrease in the following year with 609 cases recorded. However, in 2017, the instances of misdemeanour and malpractice reports filed against the GPF ranks has spiked at 623, with the year not yet completed.
Adding to that, he posited that this number was expected to increase even further given that at least two or three more ranks would be arraigned in coming weeks for the prison unrest and escape of inmates from the Lusignan penitentiary.
It was then that Ramnarine indicated that similar to their relentless efforts to prosecute civilians for their acts of crime, Officers of the Force will be placed under strict scrutiny and dismissed with, if tied to unlawful activities.