Corruption and an increase in crime have greatly deteriorated the “excellent” quality of policing which was practised in his time (the mid 1950s to 1980s), former Senior Superintendent Rambaran says.
“Policing in my time was excellent,” Rambaran (his only name) told Stabroek News during a recent interview. “In my time police officers gave the necessary attention needed to investigations…usually of serious crimes like murder, rape, serious wounding and robbery…the minute it happened we were on it and we kept at it.”
Two Saturdays ago Rambaran was attacked and robbed in his Waterloo Street, Georgetown home. After living there for more than 40 years, he told Stabroek News yesterday, he’d become comfortable and felt safe.
“I felt loved and respected…I somehow still thought that I could enjoy the same level of respect I had during my days as a police…the days when I was a role model in the West Demerara area where I was stationed most of my career.”
Rambaran, 82, said two men went calling at his house in the afternoon two Saturdays ago. They pretended to be delivery agents from popular shipping company Laparkan. The men, Rambaran has related, told him they had two packages from his daughter, Ranie Rambaran, who resides abroad.
Several minutes later Rambaran let one of the men into his upper flat home to get a drink of water. It was then that the men launched their attacked and used a knife to wound the former Senior Superintendent. Rambaran had expressed that the men left him for dead in his living room.
A week before the incident, Rambaran said yesterday, he’d employed a woman to help him with the household chores and to cook. Following investigations, according to him, the woman was listed as a “prime suspect” and she has since been dismissed.
His daughter, Rambaran said, recently arrived in the country and is making arrangements to take him back to the US with her. Since his retirement Rambaran has lived abroad for various periods of time.
“The last time he was with us (earlier this month) he insisted for more than three weeks that he wanted to return home (to Guyana),” Ranie told Stabroek News. “I had to eventually give in to him because I didn’t want to make him unhappy.”
Several days after her father’s return home Ranie was informed that he’d been attacked and brutalized in his home. The woman said she’d thought to herself then that “this is what he went home for”.
“Listen,” Rambaran said responding to his daughter’s comments, “this is my country…it might not be the same place that I was so proud of many years ago but it is still mine and I love it…this is my Guyana, this is my house, this is where I made my life and this is where I hope to spend my last days.”
In 1956, Rambaran recalled, he’d been trying for some time to get a job. He could not find a position at any of the estates, he said, and eventually decided to apply to the police force.
On July 16 that year Rambaran wrote the entrance examination and became a trainee. Six months later he graduated as the best student and was presented with the baton of honour. His first stretch as a policeman was spent at the Alberttown, Brickdam and Kitty Police Stations. Later, he was transferred to the Leonora then Den Amstel stations. Many of his years were spent in West Demerara.
During those years, Rambaran explained, crime was not as rampant as it is presently and murders definitely were not many. During the early 70s Rambaran recalled investigation the murder of Ruimzeight businessman Ramnarine Tiwari.
Tiwari, according to the former policeman, was discovered early one morning in his home with a rice bag stuffed down his throat. In those days, he recalled, Dr. Trotz worked in the laboratory and blood and other samples were sent to him to be analyzed. However, solving a murder then depended heavily on witnesses being available, Rambarran said.
With the advancement in technology, the man stated, and the wider range of resources available to police today many would expect better performance. Although the crime rate has increased this is no excuse for the poor leveling of policing which he has observed over the years.
“Although I retired in 1984 I have never lost touch with policing…it is a large part of my life,” Rambaran said.
It is true, Rambaran stated, that society now has access to more shady avenues in which to violate the law. However, the fact remains that police also have access to wider range equipment, communication methods and even more manpower.
“My statements might sound unreasonable to many…but I am from the old school and if we could perform then we can perform now…the policemen of today need to realize that the job is a lifetime commitment.”