Some policemen working under appalling conditions
- Rohee says as new Grove station commissioned
January 30, 2007
Policewomen read the plaque commemorating the official commissioning of the Golden Grove Police station yesterday.
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee says he is dissatisfied with the conditions under which some members of the Guyana Police Force are working, and added that while the government is in no position to enhance remuneration some effort will be made to improve their situation.
This comment came as the minister delivered an address at the commissioning ceremony for the new $30.5 million Golden Grove Police station on the East Bank Demerara yesterday.
The police station is outfitted with all the facilities of the other modern stations around the country and will also serve the new Diamond Housing Scheme.
Construction of this station started in August 2005 and was completed in September last year, but inclement weather conditions delayed an earlier commissioning.
Rohee said he only realized some of the adverse conditions under which policemen work when he visited a number of police stations in the East Berbice at the weekend.
"In some of those stations the conditions are atrocious and not comfortable… We don't expect ranks to work in conditions of a three-, four- or five-star hotel but certainly if they are going to stay in barracks they ought not to be in those conditions," the minister lamented.
Rohee said that under the Citizens' Security Programme (CSP) government was working to enhance the conditions of work at all police stations.
In this vein he told the 17 ranks and one officer who have started to work at the police station to consider themselves fortunate and appealed to them to utilize the facility and ensure that persons in the community felt free and comfortable to approach for the relevant assistance.
"We have approximately 72 police stations and 26 outposts across the country and it is our intention to, through the CSP, remodel and upgrade these stations in a way that not only comforts, but is seen as visitor friendly," the minister asserted.
The minister also expressed his dissatisfaction with the current record-keeping system which the police force currently utilizes and noted that this was not in keeping with modern times. "I believe that we have to do some urgent catching up, particularly in the area of technology," Rohee said.
According to him, under the CSP, record-keeping at police stations would be modernised. Each station would be able to track cases and co-ordinate with other stations, police headquarters and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The minister also took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of a station management committee, something which he said has been ignored by many police stations.
"I hope this call once again does not fall on deaf ears," the minister said, adding that in the entire 'A' division only one station on the East Coast Demerara had a management committee.
Meanwhile Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene, who also addressed ranks yesterday, alluded to one issue that continued to challenge the Guyana Police Force as the highest complaint category.
"We still have ranks who continue to neglect their duties even if the matters are small and I trust that you here at Golden Grove will move away from this since I hope to see evidence of supervision and a good follow up of all reports," Green implored.
He said the Diamond/Golden Grove community was a rapidly developing one and acknowledged that the construction of the police station was timely.
"This new building should reflect newness of appreciation, dedication and commitment and a new thrust to serving well and protecting the community," Greene said.
He said the new police station is comfortable and could better address the community's needs, including responding to matters like domestic violence since complainants will have privacy.
He said the district has been the focus of the police force for the last two years when burgeoning criminal activities were noticed and so patrols were always vigilant in the community. "New communities bring ills and we want to ensure that we are able to respond adequately," Greene said.
Last year alone there were 201 reports of a combination of simple larceny, robbery under arms and breaking and entering in the area.