Declaring that he felt let down by the involvement of rogue cops following the robbery and murder of a Bartica businessman by Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard soldiers in the Essequibo River last week, he said the Police Force has to work harder at ridding itself of rogue elements.
Several cops have been charged with stealing some of the $17M in cash the soldiers robbed the Bartica resident of after the booty was recovered.
Addressing ranks at the formal handing over of more vehicles to the Police Force, Rohee encouraged those “who do not allow themselves to be led into the quagmire of temptation to continue standing firm and to set the example at all times.”
“…we cannot give up. The efforts at police reform and transformation will continue. We have to work harder to cleanse the force of rogue or potentially rogue elements. We have to work harder to ensure that from the point of recruitment, intensive character assessment is done and to imbue new recruits to the force with high values and standards”, the minister said.
He said the example for the force is being set from the top, declaring that as the minister responsible for the actions of the Guyana Police Force, “I don’t take and since I don’t take then those below me should not do so. And if they do and are caught they should be made to suffer the consequences.”
“Since that incident on the Essequibo River, I have been asked several times how I feel about the matter…I feel let down, a sense of disappointment. After all, when you take into account all the hard work currently being done to transform the Guyana Police Force so that the force can be more effective in fighting crime and to improve more and more their relations with people…these sporadic but high profile criminal activities…blemish the good name and standing of the Police Force in the eyes of the public.”
“I know there are many ranks who feel the same way. I have spoken to several of them unofficially and they too feel disappointed by the actions of their colleagues”, he said.
Rohee was firm that vehicles allocated to the force are to be used for duties consistent with policing.
The vehicles, he declared, are not be used “to go to the market, or for dropping children to school, or for partying or any other activity that can bring the force into disrepute.”