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Stop harassing the public for money to live above your salaries – Police Commissioner

Members of the Traffic and Anti-Crime Patrols listening to an address by Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine.

Members of the Traffic and Anti-Crime Patrols listening to an address by Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine.

Police Commissioner (acting), David Ramnarine on Saturday threatened to expel traffic and anti-crime patrol members from the force who solicit money from the public or stop civilians even if no offence has been committed.

“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,” he told members of the Traffic and Anti-Crime patrols at a meeting held at the Police Officers’ Mess, Eve Leary.

Ramnarine 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. “No more routine stops for traffic.”

He noted that already 28 members of the police force have “gone on the way side,” a signal that they have been

Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine.

Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine.

thrown out of the force for various offences. Only recently, he said policemen in Linden were 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 shot and killed an unarmed misbehaving man with a high-powered weapon, trainees stealing their colleagues’ cellular phones at the training school and the Police Commissioner’s complex, one constable chopped another one with a cutlass that he should not have had in his possession in the first place, positive drug tests in three policemen, the fleecing of miners of raw gold and recent causing death by dangerous driving of a minibus.  Ramnarine said only Friday night, two policemen in ‘B’ Division discharged rounds at an unarmed suspect during a scuffle.

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. He said supervisors were acting in collusion to enrich themselves.

“Our role is to serve but not serve at a price (‘man ah gun do dis ting but yuh know so-so-so’)…not at a price. It is becoming ridiculous, very widespread among you the junior ranks. You are one of the elements of our daily interface with the public- anti-crime patrol ranks and traffic ranks. It’s becoming a problem. You are demanding from people. You are shamelessly asking them to leave something. (‘Man de place hot. We deh on patrol hay man. Gee we something nuh. Lef something. De baies want buy something’). You have no pride and dignity in the way you do things. You have no pride and shame. You believe this uniform is given to you to enrich yourself,” he said.

Government has already ruled out hefty increases in police salaries because the Treasury could not afford it.

The time has come, he said, for the Guyana Police Force’s members to end “service with a price” in which civilians are harassed and molested for a “raise” or a “small piece”. “You can smile as much as you want, it is not going to be condoned,” Ramnarine said.

The few  members of the police force, who stood up, to indicate that they were taking notes during the Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine's address.

The few members of the police force, who stood up, to indicate that they were taking notes during the Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine’s address.

In an apparent effort to publicly demonstrate that many of the policemen and women have not been applying their training to the extent that they did not walk with a notepad and pen to take notes at the meeting, he asked those who were taking notes to stand. Less than half of the more than 100 attendees stood up. “Just imagine a typical example: you are coming to be addressed by an acting Commissioner and you have come here like you are prepared for a party,” he reacted. “You come here to hear and probably just to pass it through the other ear.”

The Police Commissioner urged the attendees to be polite and courteous when dealing with members of the public, ensure that they use their name tags and display an overall professional attitude to the public instead of abusing authority and using force unnecessarily. “It is not only doing the right thing but doing the right thing the right way,” he said,

The Police Commissioner said although the quality of recruit has improved, there are issues such as functional literacy that would most likely prompt the police force to again extend the duration of training four to eight months. “We need to return to the full package of seven or eight months and the time is coming for that. Worse is likely to happen in a four month programme.”


  • ExPPP_Man

    Leff something nah

  • Emile_Mervin

    Mr. Commissioner (acting), when elected and appointed officials under both the PPP regimes are stealing and the police know but can’t do anything to stop them, how can you in good conscience tell your underpaid subordinates not to be corrupt?

    Minister Harmon got up last year and, in defence of the 5% to 50% pay raise for cabinet and parliamentary members, said the raise would deter officials from becoming corrupt. He even said had had no apologies to offer, only to recant.

    Then Harmon jumped on a plane with BK Tiwarie, a man who got rich under the PPP regime, and flew to China to inquire about US$5m in GT&T shares owed Guyana.

    On their return, different stories were peddled about the monies either being paid or waived, but Harmon obtained some documents explaining the truth and he still cannot show the people the documents.

    Last week, the Coalition settled with BK for US$ 5.7m in a lawsuit that was way more than BK was owed. Then days ago, Harmon showed up for a turning of the sod by BK to build a hangar at Ogle that will accommodate more planes to be acquired by BK.

    I will be blunt and say that government officials are in conflict of interest situations with private business folks. There is a big hustle taking place under the ‘ah we turn now’ banner, so while you urge cops to be straight, it is hard for them when they see the skulduggeries of the PPP era playing out under the Coalition.

    • Gtloyal

      This, if not the truth, has got to be very close. And I’ll add this: the fact that the president is silent about everything means that he is in on what’s going on.

      • Emile_Mervin

        David Granger is not stupid; he is slow! He is just a lazy or lackluster leader!

        I recall while he was demanding Ramotar holds LGE or else, Nagamootoo was demanding a no-confidence in Ramotar. Nagamootoo’s demand bore better fruit, but that opened my eyes to the fact that Granger was not real leadership material. To this day, I harbor the view a President Nagamootoo would have dealt condignly with Jagdeo and his cabal, and all the screaming about ethnic-cleansing or witch-hunting would have been moot.

        My only concern was whether Nagamootoo would have continued with the socialism propaganda crap!

        • raskilone

          ” Are you for real? ” Nagamootoo would have continued with the socialism propaganda crap!” What occurred under the PNC rule, and did you not follow the mutterings at the just concluded PNC congress? The old heads in the dominant arm of the coalition are hell bent on getting us back on par with Zimbabwe and Haiti!!! Watch the ride…they will splurge while waiting on oil revenue. How long now Trinidad and Venezuela have oil? And they are models of paradise….lol!

        • Col123

          I know that you are kind towards Naggamoti and that is OK..but I would hesitate to say that you know the guy well. He is a good prop and face for the PNC.,,I respect your opinion and do understand the level of bias which exist in these blogs…you can spare me a response…

  • rudeo

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating…..waiting to see the success of this approach

  • Surujpaul Rampersaud

    Mr. Acting Commissioner, this is like ” full belly man telling hungry belly man have patience”. We were told that ministers got the big increase to stop them from being corrupt. Is this not logically saying that low salaries is associated with corruption. You are not expected to condone corruption but you should lobby for better pay for policeman. They deserve better.

  • Col123

    This is an affirmation that the cops are involved in harassing the public for a piece. It is not clear to me why bloggers here and elsewhere (and Freddie) are suggesting that this is police culture within couple decades…It is BS to suggest that!…period…I recall the harassment from cops in the days of the two dollars bicycle license days…Further, it is unclear about the time period for the genesis of corruption and bribery by all cross section of Guyanese population.I recall the days starting with the requirement of an English name with conversion another religion for a teaching spot, or in civil service …the going rate was $50-$60 for such privilege …So… for those who want to peddle tha manure here , should ask one of those WPA minister from Kitty about this kind of low class behavior to enjoy the good life…and if you are too young to know that…get out there and enjoy life…

  • ExPPP_Man

    He talking piss, maybe his retirement is near. If they were to hold the cops accountable, they entire force will have to be removed.

  • Col123

    You are now coming across as a nitwit. In the early 60s, with Pupil Teachers exam or over 5 O Levels with Englisg, you are qualified for civil service or teaching spots in govt schools . I was there cutting cane for a year at age seventeen with eight O levels after my parents refused conversion and paying of bribe..,so SHUT the hell up!…you don’t know chit!…