Suspect in cop’s killing identified
Police Commissioner Henry Green has said that the Force has already identified one of the suspects in Friday night’s slaying of Police Constable Vickram Singh.
Singh, 19, was shot dead while on guard duty at the entrance to the Joint Services Housing Scheme in Lamaha Springs. He was still to graduate from training school.
Greene, who was addressing ranks following the organisation’s 171 anniversary route march, said that he and the entire force are saddened by the incident and the manner in which it occurred.
“Young Vickram Singh, when he went there, would never have thought that he was not coming back to the TSU last night or this morning. His family at Number 48 Village, Corentyne, they might not have thought that they would never see him again. Somebody out there has sought to take the life of the young man,” the Commissioner said.
He said that the duty of the force, now, is to apply all the intelligence and resources at its disposal to ensure that those concerned are arrested and brought to justice.
Yesterday’s parade saw the contingent of cadet officers, who participated for the first time as single unit, copping the top prize.
For their achievement, the cadet officers walked away with a trophy and $300,000, dethroning the much fancied Tactical Services Unit and the ever present unit from the Central immigration Department.
Braving the rain, ranks from all the police divisions and departments, led by Assistant Commissioner Steve Merai, along with representatives of the Community Policing Groups as well as the Neighbourhood Police and the Police Scout Troop, thrilled those who were brave enough to confront the steady drizzle.
The parade first gave a salute to Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee in front of his office before doing the same to Commissioner Henry Greene at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary.
Addressing the ranks, Commissioner Greene said that the fact that so many ranks braved the rain to participate in the parade is testimony that they are in full support of the force administration.
Commissioner Greene noted that it is a sad feeling when “another brother, another son of the soil who sought to fight crime, who was out there to look after the interest of the people, is shot and killed without having the chance to defend himself, even though he was armed”.
According to Greene the attack was so sudden and perhaps unexpected since the Lamaha Springs area is not known for that type of assault and that type of crime.
The Commissioner lashed out at those who are quick to protest police indiscretions, noting that these persons do not come out when the shoe is on the other foot.
“Look outside, there were people cheering for you,” he told his ranks.
“I didn’t see any placards, I saw no protestors, I didn’t see the famous personalities who come around when people die. Nobody comes when a policeman dies. Nobody puts up any placards when a policeman dies. Nobody calls for justice when a policeman dies and a soon as the police take action and something happens, albeit unfortunate, everybody calling for the head of the policeman.
“Where are those hollering give justice to the policeman’s family? No one is there. We have to look after ourselves,” the visibly fired up police commissioner added.
Recently the Police Force has come under severe attack following the police killing of schoolboy Kelvin Fraser at Patentia on the West Bank of Demerara with students and villagers carrying out large protests both in the district where the incident occurred, and in the city.
The Commissioner was at pains to point out that while the Force strives for professionalism, there are times when ranks transgress the standard operational procedures.
“If a policeman goes out there and he does not understand the Force’s core values, then he has to face the music,” he stressed, adding that the rank responsible for the shooting of Fraser is now facing the court.
Greene reiterated that the policy of the force on minimum force is very clear and he recently gave instructions for the printing of hundreds of copies of the standard operating procedure to be distributed to all ranks individually.
“We have given clear instructions that when a policeman is going to a dance he should not be armed, when a policeman is going out there in a situation which does not have a threat, where armed persons are not out there, he should not be issued with a firearm from a police station.
“The anti crime units are out there fighting crime, they are authorised to carry arms but the average policeman must be issued with a firearm only when it is necessary,” Commissioner Greene said.
He said that it is not a case where the Force does not have core values, “but some policemen just disregard them.”
According to the commissioner, almost 90 policemen are before the courts answering criminal charges, and this will continue, he said.
“We have had bad times but also we’ve had good times. We have had fair success. We foiled a number of kidnap incidents last year but I haven’t seen anybody make noise about that. Currently most of the Caribbean is shouting about increase in crime, and we so far this year are eleven percent below last year in terms of serious crimes.
“I don’t see the press shouting about that but the slightest thing the policeman do it’s in the press,” the Commissioner said.
He said that the Force is not against criticism but the society must realise that what obtained 10 years ago is not so today.