Unethical policing

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Dear Editor

There is a plathora of distasteful and unethical video clips involving members of the Guyana Police Force in uniform and civilian clothing circulating with alarming frequency in the social media. Many of these clips are recorded by ranks and posted on the social media. A recent one I saw was with double murder accused Kapildeo Gangadin in foot shackles in the presence of another prisoner being interrogated by a female police inspector in uniform and a constable at a police station on the East Coast of Demerara.  As usual the constable appeared to be incharge of the event. It is a flagrant violation of the Judges Rules as it relates to the investigation of criminal matters. Not surprising the confessed murder accused escaped from the Lusignan Prison but was later recaptured. No heads rolled. End of the matter. Who took the video at the police station?  Who posted it on the social media? Was it that a civilian walked in a police station, recorded the proceedings and then posted it on social media? Certainly not a civilian. It must have been a police. I am perturbed.

Apparently, very little or nothing is being done by the police to bring an end to the gross misconduct of their ranks in recording and posting unsavory video clips on the social media. Is it that the police are so busy monitoring the activities on social media of certain politicians,  some retired senior police officers, groups and individuals identified by their political masters, that the unwanted and inappropiate behaviour of their own on social media is left unnoticed?

Flashback ! 2018 a Police Standing Orders Review Team was commissioned by Leslie James, Commissioner of Police DSS, DSM in the presence and hearing of his Executive Leadership Team to review the much outdated Police Standing Orders. This team under the leadership of Paul Slowe in its wisdom , internalised, conceptualised, designed and developed a Standing Order to govern the conduct of policemen while on duty in the use of Information Technology particularily their smart phones and the unauthorised recording and posting of events in the social media.The Review Team handed over the Standing Order to the Commissioner for review by the Executive Leadership Team and possible implementation. It would appear that the Standing Order was dashed under the police ‘No Action Red Carpet’ or placed at a secret location with the non exististing SOP for the SWAT team and the 69 Standing Orders reviewed and submitted to the police by the Review Team. Unfortunately, for their excellent work the Standing Orders Review Team was rewarded with a phantom charge of conspiracy to defraud.

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Sometime ago the police boasted that its Strategic Management Unit had revised the Standing Orders much to the satifisfaction of the Top Cop and other senior members of Force. The paradigm has shifted since then. According to the Sunday Stabroek News, October 31, 2021 at a Integrity in Policing symposium at the Arthur Chung Confrence Centre, the Top Cop posited, ” Standing Orders and SOPs need to be revised in keeping with the the best practice and international standard of policing. ” Was the review done by the Police Strategic Unit so poor that it is now considered inappropriate by the Top Cop who now saw the need for review of the existing Standing Orders and SOPs? Certainly, the Standing Orders revised by the Review Team can come into play in a positive way. I hasten to make a clarion call to the Top Cop to utilise the 69 Standing Orders revised by the Revision Team. They were put together based on the over 150 years of combined experience and expertise of the Review Team, the experiences of retired and serving members of the Force, civilians and analysing international best practices. Çommissioner, implement them. They are at your disposal and of the highest quality. They are free of cost.

The Standing Order on the conduct of ranks in relation to Information Technology submitted to the Comissioner by the Standing Orders Review Team if inplemented could have been used as an effective tool to prevent or quell the lawlessness that is taking place by ranks in recording and posting unsavory video clips alluded to above on the social media.The behaviour of ranks is destroying the image of the GPF and eroding the very little dwindling public confidence that exists in the Force. It is time for assertive police action to bring this sad state of affairs under control. Sometimes i wonder why things in the GPF are so inherently incredible? May God help the Guyana Police Force.

Yours respectfully
Clinton Conway
Assistant Commissioner of Police
(Retired)



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