Over the years from PNC era to now I’m convinced, supported by overwhelming evidence, that the Guyana Police Force motto ‘Service and Protection’ is blatantly false − nowhere near its target.
A survey will show beyond the shadow of doubt that the police have hardly worked diligently in the interest of the common, simple and ordinary working people − the working class. No doubt many from among their ranks (working class) have justly and unjustly felt the full weight of the force with heavy casualties along the way. For me, the most hurting and depressing thing that can happen to someone is to be taken advantage of and have nowhere to go to seek justice; that is what destroys people. And today this seems to be the order of the day. I thought that with the PNC out of office, we would have been able to rectify this anomaly somewhat, but I was wrong.
Now let’s take the case of the Linden resident Janice Burgan of Industrial Area as reported by Kaieteur News March 14, 2009. She “is peeved that six months after three policemen attached to the Mackenzie Police Station broke into her house and allegedly stole $38,000, she is now being told to take her own private action.” The article further reported that Janice Burgan has since the incident been running to Georgetown in vain to see the Commissioner of Police in relation to this matter. Now could this be right for an ordinary working woman (or anyone else) struggling daily for a livelihood, having to spend thousands more in addition to what was allegedly stolen in her quest for justice from the police? The police that you depend on for service and protection?
These, Editor, are the kind of stories that have brought the police force into disrepute. Burgan claimed that the money allegedly stolen ($38,000) was what she had been saving to purchase her spectacles when the three policemen entered her home by breaking down the door, saying they were “looking for a man with guns and drugs.”
I do not know how the force goes about recruiting members, but I do know that because of the level of unemployment/underemployment, and because of misconceived notions about the power and authority the police are perceived to have, and the many unwholesome incidents that have been narrated about questionable police activities, many young men are opting to join the force with a vested interest. For obvious reasons they feel much more confident committing a crime under the guise of a policeman in the service of the state. “Where is the justice?” asked Janice Burgan; my answer to her: It is blowing somewhere in the wind.
Ms Burgan is hoping that those in authority will hear her cry and attend to her matter, but this is like reaching for the end of the rainbow; these people cannot hear you. Yet I urge you to keep the faith for miracles do happen.
The law rarely works in the best interest of the small man, and that’s a pity, that’s what provokes, and that’s what leads to other things.