Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Police Force rebuffs AFC's claims that sinister motive request for ranks to produce national ID cards

THE Guyana Police Force is responding to an article published in the Kaieteur News on Sunday November 6, 2011, under the caption ‘Law enforcement officers asked to submit ID numbers to superiors – AFC probing.’

In the article it is stated that an earnest investigation has been engaged by the Alliance For Change (AFC), following reports that police, military and fire service officers are being asked to submit their identification numbers to their superiors.

The article further stated that this disclosure was made by Mrs. Cathy Hughes, an executive member of the opposition party, at a special press briefing where she is quoted as saying that the AFC has received several such reports from persons working in the military, security services and also in the fire service and “this is a totally unacceptable position for any of these officers to be put into.”

The Guyana Police Force wishes to state that it is well known that members of the Disciplined Services, which include the Guyana Police Force, cast their ballots at least one week prior to the date for the holding of General and Regional Elections in the country. Consequently, the police will be voting on Monday November 21, 2011.

To facilitate this process, a separate list of electors attached to the Police Force is compiled by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from their data and sent to the Guyana Police Force for verification, which was again done this year.

The original list of electors from the Guyana Police Force that was received by the Police from GECOM contained the ranks’ full name, date of birth, home address, occupation and national identification number.

At Force level, the Deputy Commissioner ‘Administration’ has direct responsibility of ensuring that all ranks of the Force are included in the special list of electors from the Police Force that is being compiled by GECOM and, in this regard, he is assisted by the Staff Officer ‘Administration’ 1.

In ensuring that all the ranks are on the list, the administrative staff has to verify that the information submitted in the first instance by GECOM is correct and, in addition, ensure that those ranks who are not included in the original list are subsequently added on.

Consequently, after receipt of the original list of electors attached to the Police Force from GECOM, the Staff Officer ‘Administration’ 1 sent out a telephone message to all Divisions and Branches of the Police Force on July 5, 2011, for a senior rank from the respective Division/Branch to report to the Police General Office at Force Headquarters, Eve Leary, with a nominal roll of all ranks attached to the Division/Branch.

These persons include all members of the Regular Force from the Commissioner of Police down, and members of the Special Constabulary, full-time Rural Constables and auxiliary staff.

The nominal roll was required to have information on each person under the headings full name, date of birth, home address, national identification number, and indicate whether the person had registered or not, where registered, the name in which he/she was registered and if they had joined the Force after registration.

In carrying out this process, the national identification numbers of the ranks were required as from previous Elections experience it had been found that a number of persons have similar names and in some cases persons register in different names. Consequently, the ranks were requested to produce their national identification cards to the persons engaged in the preparation of the nominal rolls in the respective Division or Branch in order to verify their national identification numbers.

Upon submission of the national identification card, the national identification number was recorded and the national identification card was returned to the rank concerned. The national identification cards submitted by the ranks were not taken from them.

Following this, a representative team of ranks from each Division and Branch of the Force reported to the General Office where they cross-checked the various nominal rolls against the list of electors compiled by GECOM.

Thereafter, there was constant communication and updating of the list of police electors between the Guyana Police Force and GECOM officials in order to ensure that at the end of the day a verified final list of electors from the Guyana Police Force was achieved.

The Police Force wishes to emphasise that there was no sinister or ulterior motive for requesting ranks to produce their national identification cards during the process of verification of the list of electors from the Police Force to vote at the upcoming General and Regional Elections.

It should be noted that this is not the first occasion that the Force administration has requested the national identification numbers of its ranks when going through the process of verifying that all police ranks are listed on the list of electors from the Disciplined Services.

The procedure has been the same for previous General and Regional Elections in the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment