The protector is tainted

August 16, 2011 | By | Filed Under Editorial 

Someone once said that it is better to keep one’s mouth closed and let people believe that one is a fool than to open one’s mouth and confirm it. Kaieteur News got an inside view of a private meeting that saw some senior police ranks becoming very upset at the invasion of the police force by drug kingpins.
Of course, the entire country knew of the close association between sections of the Guyana Police Force and the drug lords. There was a time when policemen openly offered protection to drug lords and were there to clean up after the killings. The force moved swiftly to get rid of these people but even then, there were other policemen who protected their dismissed colleagues.
The situation never changed, because new drug lords emerged, and other police ranks who spotted easy money gravitated to them. Eventually, they became brazen and flouted the wealth they acquired.
And so it was that things reached the point where senior officers could not keep quiet. At a meeting they voiced their opinion to none other than the police commissioner and to every other senior rank there. This meeting became acrimonious; some of the implicated ranks said nothing, but it was easy to assume that they were not prepared to give up what they had.
According to the reports, the police commissioner expressed shock at some of the revelations. He claimed that he was an unsuspecting bystander. The complaining ranks dubbed his position as nothing but arrant nonsense.
Lo and behold, the Police Public Relations unit decided that the concerns of the police force over the disclosure by Kaieteur News needed to be stated. It saw the publication as devious. What can be devious about reporting that there is rampant corruption in the Guyana Police Force? The people pay the salaries and they need to know. Surely, the hierarchy of the force does not believe that the corruption that has reached the top is a secret.
But the most asinine aspect of the police public relations report is the fact that the force knows that Kaieteur News receives other reports that it refuses to publish. The unit then suggests alternatively that it has an idea of the officers who leak information and that if it finds out who leaks the information the force will deal condignly with them for breaching the standing orders. It would have been better for the force to remain silent over the publication and avoid the embarrassment.
How can an officer drive into the police compound with a high-priced vehicle and not attract attention? Why had the Guyana Revenue Authority not mounted an investigation? Why have the people responsible for law enforcement not asked questions? They had to see this. The police now say that they are investigating reports. Yet none of the officers being probed has been sent on leave.
Perhaps this is the reason why Guyana has never prosecuted any major drug dealer and has failed to solve any of the executions that have occurred in the country. Too many policemen may be involved.
What the force should realize is that once senior ranks are seen to be involved in criminal activities, the junior ranks will follow suit. We have had robberies in which people swore that the perpetrators were policemen. There was this driver in south Sophia who was robbed and shot mere minutes after a police patrol stopped him.
The victim argued that the patrol had to hear the shot but it failed to respond, thus giving credence to the belief that the same patrol that stopped him proceeded to rob and to shoot him. No one was ever arrested.
A man reported to the police that ranks stopped him and took away some three kilograms of cocaine that he had. He said that he identified them but nothing happened.
Police ranks are operating many minibuses on the streets; their salaries could not buy these buses but the force ignores these men and women. A reporter writes a story about police ranks beating some people at a night spot and the commissioner gets angry at the publication.
There is rampant corruption in the Guyana Police Force. Policemen are in cahoots with drug lords and the senior ranks know this. Ranks demand money from the public in shakedowns. Will there be a change after the expose? We think not, but we expect more of the diatribe from the public relations unit.

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