Police did well despite setbacks -- Top Cop
By Neil Marks
December 14, 2006
DESPITE facing an increasing number of murders and robberies under arms, acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene yesterday told members of the Guyana Police Force they should give themselves “a pat on the back”.
Speaking at the Force’s year-end awards ceremony at Police headquarters, Eve Leary, Georgetown, Mr. Greene said the Force performed creditably over the past year “in light of resources and shortage of staff”.
His comments came even as he announced that the number of murders for this year has reached 147, compared to 116 for the same period last year. The number of armed robberies also escalated this year, totalling 894 compared to 712 last year.
Greene said that despite these figures, the Force saw successes in some areas. He noted, for example, that Troy Dick, the last of the February 23, 2002 Georgetown prison escapees was interdicted, along with others.
Also this year, he said, 138 firearms were recovered, and these included 22 automatic rifles. He said this exercise of recovering weapons, and stopping the flow into Guyana of illegal weapons, continues to be critical in the fight against crime.
Greene though urged officers to be vigilant in meeting the needs of the public. In fact, he called on them to rededicate themselves to serve the country and in being faithful to the Force’s motto of “Service and Protection.”
He acknowledged the frustrations of members of the public who go to Police stations and are turned away, being told they have to go to another station to make their report.
Greene told Police officers that it is their responsibility to collect the report and then forward it to the respective location for the matter to be addressed.
“We must be responsive”, he told officers. He said the Force has been making provisions to address the concerns of members of the community. He cited, for example, that Police stations are now being remodelled to accommodate an interview room where cases of domestic violence could be treated with strictest confidentiality.
He noted that Community Policing Groups and the recent introduction of Neighbourhood Police has been serving the Force well. He said they serve as the eyes and ears of the Police, providing “local knowledge”.
Greene pointed out also that the hierarchy of the Force is now accommodating the views of members of the public. “We do not own the ideas,” he stated.
He and all the divisional commanders now have an “open day” to meet members of the public.
He said the Force fulfils a “duty” in rewarding the diligent work of its officers and some $7M was yesterday handed out to several officers, including 1,100 ranks and 25 Community Policing Groups.
The awards scheme was introduced in 1990 and to date has handed out $102M in cash incentives.
Assistant Superintendent Marlon Chapman was adjudged Best Cop of 2006 and was rewarded with $50,000 and a trophy, along with a trip for two to Kaieteur Falls compliments of the Roraima group of companies. He also received the Best Cop award for B Division (Berbice).
After receiving his award, Chapman said he is a “fighter” and will continue to be a fighter because he does not like crime.
The runner-up Best Cop award went to Chief Inspector Sydney Charles of A Division (Georgetown). He received a cash award of $40,000, a trophy, and a trip for two to Arrowpoint resort from the Roraima group of companies. He was also adjudged the Best Cop for his division.
Best Cop awards were also handed out in the other police divisional districts: Headquarters – Sergeant James; C Division – Lance Corporal Mason; D Division Constable Albert; E and F Division – Corporal Telford; and G Division Lance Corporal Chattergoon.
Special Constable Josiah was awarded Sportsman of the Year, while Corporal Benjamin received the award for Sportswoman of the Year.
Corporal Wilson was named the Male Sports Personality and Corporal James was named Female Sports Personality.