In an Editorial on November 12, 2017, and captioned “Purge the police rogues”, we highlighted the frequency with which members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) are involved in serious acts of criminality. We emphasised that from all that has been occurring for the last two decades, that there are too many young recruits who continue to join the force with the aim of making money out of the misdeeds of persons. Under the cover of the police uniform, these misfits continue to commit serious crimes.
That we are revisiting this very important institution so soon again, which is principally responsible for protecting the society and citizens from crime, is due to what we describe as the very shocking and alarming revelations emerging from the current investigation into the murder of a popular city businessman, particularly as to the alleged role of a standing member of the Guyana Police Force. We adhere to the principle that a man is innocent until found guilty.
These are indeed very serious allegations, and point to policemen operating outside of the law and infringing standard operating procedures. On display here, is the classic cunning of the dirty cop, such as pressuring a known defendant into committing crimes that benefit the handler dirty cop–supplying the tools, such as firearms for the commission of the crime, misleading colleagues with incorrect information, and tampering with crime scenes.
These are shocking details that cannot be of any comfort to citizens, who depend on policemen/women for their daily protection. Further, it reveals an institutional crisis that has long been in existence, since these accounts now emerging have perennially been discussed openly by members of the public, and even by some police officers who have been critical of the misconduct of their colleagues. It has always been said by the general public that there are members of the local police force who are involved in criminal acts.
We believe that the police corporal at the centre of these revelations, is not the only one of his brand–there are many others whose acts have served to bring the Guyana police Force into disrepute, apart from assisting in the fact of recidivism.
But what is even more amazing is the fact that these ranks have been operating without the knowledge of their superiors. How is this possible? That this is pondered because, since there is an intelligence driven system that aids in crime detection, and thwarting its execution, it carries that the same methodology should be able to alert superiors especially, as to criminalities by other ranks in their midst.
Moreover, how is it possible for such a police corporal to have been runner-up best cop, without his superiors not having a complete profile of his entire background, since entering law enforcement? But there was an alert–he had a charge of marijuana trafficking against him.
These are very troubling questions that should be investigated, because it boggles the mind that such an anti-crime detection activity as crime scene tampering by this cop has been occurring without any action taken against him.
These questions and more should be the focus of an inquiry and not an inter-departmental probe, as this would severely limit the intent and scope. And this ought to be done, irrespective of what the political opposition may have to protest about undermining the public’s confidence in the force, or affecting the force’s morale.
As proven, those Commissions of Inquiry mandated by President David Granger, have indeed supplied instructive answers to the serious incidents which they were asked to examine. As a result, government is in a better informed position as to what gave rise– systemic weaknesses; culpability; sanctions to be given; and, of course, future safeguards.
What is being publicised demands not only the procedural dismissal of such type of policemen, but an in-depth examination as to the activities of this nefarious group of enforcement officers: How large are their numbers? How do their illegal actions affect crime detection and why no action had been taken against those involved. Such a process should be able to shed light on the almost non-success solving rate on “hit jobs.”