Jul 03, 2019 News
Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, has issued a stern warning related to misconduct in the force.
Speaking Monday during the start of the 180th anniversary celebrations of the Guyana Police Force, the commissioner also lauded the strides made in recent times.
According to James, because of changing values in the society, the administrators of the force acknowledge that there are instances of misconduct within its ranks.
“However, the membership of the Guyana Police Force number in excess of 7,000, most of whom have been professional, law abiding, conscientious and humble. And for those who chose to run contrary, disciplinary actions have been taken against them.”
The statements of the Commissioner would come as an internal probe remains underway into alleged corruption in the force.
Whistleblowing ranks in Berbice have accused colleagues and senior officers of participating in a series of criminal activities, including protection of drug shipments, bribery to protect bandits and even taking money to wipe out a police witness in a drug case.
There was even a claim that the number of a senior police officer was in the phone of a bandit killed in a shootout in the Corentyne backdam.
Last week, the Commissioner sent on leave his crime chief, Deputy Commissioner, Lyndon Alves, amid those shocking allegations as its internal arm, the Office of Professional Responsibilities began a probe.
On Monday, it appeared that the force was looking forward with very little mention otherwise of the allegations by James.
“Today being the 1st of July, 2019 commences the month in which the Guyana Police Force will commemorate its 180th Anniversary as the premier law enforcement agency. We have come a long way. From those days where the focus was on protecting the plantation owners, we have moved to one where we protect the citizens and their properties. We have transitioned from those days where the methods and strategies used are varied and multi-dimensional.”
He said that from those days where a strong sense of commitment to family and communities was the influence locally, there is a shift to these times where the influences are wide and diverse, facilitated by the rapidly changing world of information technology that supports social media, smart television and smart phones.
“Nonetheless, the Guyana Police Force continues to surmount these challenges by way of prevention in most cases of crimes, maintenance of law and order, preservation of the peace, effective traffic management, to name a few. However, the administration of the Force is cognizant that the daily reporting in the media and the consequential absorption by the public, of criminal acts perpetrated within the country may lead many to believe that crime is on the rise. But, while the perception may be so, the numbers within the Organisation tell us that we are making progress,” James pointed out.
He said that the Police Force has to continue to embrace best practices together with all the technological developments that contribute to better policing and eventually a sustained reduction in crime.
“The progress alluded to is not achieved alone, but through strong support from a number of key stakeholders. The Government of Guyana, through our subject Ministry and the Ministry of Finance is our main support. However, increased partnership with regional and international countries, increased collaboration at the level of the community and increased coordination with lending agencies, specifically the Inter-American Development Bank, all contribute significantly to our progress and development as the premier law enforcement body in Guyana.”
According to the Commissioner, the administration of the force recognizes that the achievement of safer communities requires a multifaceted approach that has led to more development of key competencies as well as emotional development.
“Efforts at emotional development are targeted through training in anger management, ethical behaviour and conduct, conflict management, stress management and psychological analysis. These areas are considered vital to the holistic growth of our policemen and policewomen.
As we proceed further into 2019 and beyond, the administration seeks to strengthen those systems that will result in improved service to the communities and all citizens within Guyana.” He pointed to the development of prosecution through the operationalisation of our Police Prosecutors’ Coordinating Unit.
“We will operationalise our Training Board, which will evaluate and supervise revision of our training curricula as necessary. We will operationalise our Traffic Advisory Board, which will evaluate our traffic management posture and coordinate appropriate improvement strategies. We will realign our Divisional Boundaries to the Regional Administrative Boundaries to foster greater cooperation at the regional level as well as strengthen management of Divisions and commitment by ranks.”
James was appointed Commissioner last year with four deputies named by President David Granger to assist him. It was part of the process to reform the police force.
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