Guyana: Police under fire for soliciting money from public

Guyana Police have come under fire from Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, who has threatened to expel traffic and anti-crime patrol members who solicit money from the public or stop civilians even if no offence has been committed.

According to the online publication, Demerara Waves, Ramnarine was addressing members of the Traffic and Anti-Crime patrols at a meeting held at the Police Officers’ Mess, Eve Leary, on Saturday.

“There are certain matters once you are charged criminally or departmentally or what we are not going to waste taxpayers’ money to interdict you and put you on half pay, comrades; we are not going to do that. Once you fall within a certain year period service out you go because that is where we have to start and one of the best ways,” Demerara Waves quoted the Acting Police Chief as saying.

He reiterated that all police road blocks must be conducted in close proximity to police stations or should be done by uniformed ranks in clearly marked police vehicles, anti-crime patrols must cease stopping vehicles and asking for documents, and police traffic ranks should not stop a vehicle unless they have observed that an offence has been committed.

Ramnarine noted that already 28 members of the police force have “gone on the way side,” a signal that they have been thrown out of the force for various offences.

Demerara Waves said the Police Commissioner made reference to a number of incidents involving police officers.

They included policemen in Linden being implicated in the theft of several cellular phones from the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) while probing a break and enter and larceny, a policeman who was on “fixed point” duty near the Georgetown Prison shooting and killing an unarmed misbehaving man with a high-powered weapon and trainees stealing their colleagues’ cellular phones at the training school and the Police Commissioner’s complex.

Ramnarine castigated policemen and women on duty for behaving “like bandits” resulting in obstacles between the law enforcement agency and communities

He expressed grave concern about members of the Guyana Police Force stopping civilians and soliciting monies to supplement their meager salaries of GYD$60,000 (approx US$300) in an effort to satisfy their lifestyle including multiple relationships, partying five times per month, expensive cellular phones and throwing box- hands.