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Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe has criticised the Corporate Communications Unit of the Guyana Police for what he termed a propaganda piece on his encounter with ranks last Friday at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.
Slowe said the officers in the unit should understand that their role should not be the spreading of propaganda and foolish statements. “It may be better if they remain silent when a particular situation cannot be justified, than to issue releases which raise more questions than answers,” the former chairman of the Police Service Commisison added.
He noted that in relation to the “unprofessional action by members of SOCU at the Georgetown’s Magistrate’s Court Compound on Friday, October 15, 2021, where I was assaulted by Assistant Superintendent Ramana and constable 23975 Duke, the Corporate Communications Unit issued a puerile release, which clearly shows their lack of basic understanding of how professional policing should be done.”
Slowe said the persons in charge of this unit must seek professional guidance before making such nonsensical statements.
“The statement issued on Friday October 15, 2021, states “Since the commencement of these investigations by SOCU, the accused left the jurisdiction and as such he was never contacted and told of the allegations levelled against him and cautioned”.
“If the accused was never contacted and told of the allegations levelled against him and cautioned, how come charges were filed? Is it not standard professional policing for those actions to have been taken before any charge is filed?” Slowe questioned.
He said the statement went on to say “As an accused he ought to, and was, given the opportunity to make a statement if he so wished. This morning ( Friday) he showed up at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court where investigators of SOCU arrested him prior to him appearing before the said Magistrate and told him of the allegations and cautioned him where he stated I have nothing to say”
“This is total balderdash! Which said Magistrate? How do you arrest a person prior to him appearing to answer the said charge? how do you put an allegation to a person when he is already charged for the offence? How do you caution a person who is appearing to answer a charge?
When I turned up at the court Assistant Superintendent Ramana informed me that he was arresting me. I asked him what he was arresting me for. He told me that he was arresting me for conspiracy to commit fraud. I then realized that it was the very same charge that I was summoned by the said Ramana on Friday October 8, 2021, to attend Georgetown Magistrate Court 3 on Friday October 15, 2021, and which I was at the court to answer. I informed him that he had no lawful authority to arrest me for a charge that was already before the court and for which no arrest warrant was issued. (On the last occasion the case was called the SOCU prosecutor made an application to the Magistrate for an arrest warrant to be issued. This application was correctly denied because as was said before, by the very police, I was never contacted, the allegations were never put to me, I was not on bail. Those are conditions precedent for an arrest warrant to be issued).
Assistant Superintendent Ramana instructed one of the ranks present to read the caution after charge.
This was so irregular. The Judge’s Rule clearly states when a caution after charge should be administered, and it’s definitely not after the charge has been FILED IN COURT.”
Slowe said one shudders to think that a leading investigator in the Special Organised Crime Unit of the Guyana Police Force, and by extension the head of that unit, does not know these basic and critical aspects of an investigation.
“No wonder the conviction rate is so low.
That is what we get when police officers blindly follow political directions.”