– vows proactive, intelligence-led Police Force
Hours after the Ministry of the Presidency announced that a new Police Commissioner has been picked, Assistant Commissioner Leslie James was swiftly sworn in at State House yesterday.
And he is promising an intelligence-led Police Force.
According to James, a surprise pick of five shortlisted, and who headed the Criminal Investigations Department and Special Branch at varying times, he is very much aware of the crime concerns, with his team to take a proactive stance of tackling crime.
He would have nudged out Assistant Commissioners Nigel Hoppie, Maxine Graham, Paul Williams and Lyndon Alves and of course, the Police Commissioner (ag), David Ramnarine who was not present at the swearing in ceremony yesterday.
James, who also was the Commander for the West Demerara (‘D’ Division) between 2016 and 2018, told media after his swearing in, that his mandate is very clear, he intends to keep the peace in a “professional and unbiased” manner.
The words would come at a time when the police are grappling with a number of fringe gangs, comprising predominantly young criminals, who have been tormenting especially businesses across the coasts and hinterlands.
While there has been a marked drop in drug related and other execution killings, daily robberies around the city and accusations of police complicity and unconcerned behaviour to reports have been marring what would otherwise have been a good run in sleuths cracking a number of high profile cases.
According to the new Commissioner, there is a plan to fight crime, which cannot be made public at this time.
He is hitting the ground running, and was set to meet his team after the swearing in yesterday.
The Ministry of the Presidency later released photos of James and other senior officers meeting with President David Granger, at State House.
He said that he is “fully aware of what is expected of me, what is expected of the team…what is expected of the Guyana Police Force…”
James hinted that the swearing in is a moment that he has “always waited for” and intends to execute his duties without fear and favour.
He said that he is aware of the concerns about the “fear” of crime and the incidents.
These are to be addressed with the Force to be maintained and as an intelligence-led one.
Earlier, in the day, the Ministry of the Presidency said that President David Granger announced that following consultations with the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo at State House, James will now serve as the Commissioner of Police with immediate effect.
“The Commander of Chief of the Armed Forces also noted that Mr. James will be supported by four Deputy Commissioners who are Mr. Lyndon Alves, Ms. Maxine Graham, Mr. Nigel Hoppie and Mr. Paul Williams. These appointments will also take immediate effect as of August 30, 2018.”
President Granger, in the statement, said that the four deputies will be responsible for four areas of the Force: Operations, Administration, Law Enforcement and Special Branch/Intelligence.
“My intention is that the four deputies will be responsible for various aspects of the Police Force, for example, Operations, Administration, Law Enforcement and Special Branch or Intelligence. What we have done today is we have not only appointed a Police Commissioner but we have also improved the architecture of the Police Force so that instead of having a flat structure, we now have clearly defined responsibilities in those four deputy commissioners. So, things will be better. I am sure that there will be better performance in those areas and other officers can now look forward to, in due course, filling those appointments.”
The Head of State said that the changes will help to enhance the specialization of the Police Force.
“It will help to spur the career mobility of officers and I am convinced that the efficiency of the Police Force as a whole will be enhanced,” the Head of State said.
The President noted that it is his expectation to meet with the new Commissioner and deputies where discussions will take place on the appointments to each of the four areas identified.
“I was not interested in having a foreigner head the Guyana Police Force. I felt that we had local talent. I think the process has resulted in the best five being selected to lead the Force and I will be meeting later today with the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners. I think this is the best outcome and they are all fit and proper persons to lead the Police Force,” he said.
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