Former Commissioner of Police Winston Felix says that Commissioner of Police Henry Greene should do the honourable thing and tender his resignation following allegations of abuse levelled against the top cop this week.
Felix was among those speaking at today’s A Partnership for National Unity press conference held at the party’s headquarters on Regent Street.
“Let me first of all say that the Police Force has procedures for dealing with the misconduct of its ranks from the Commissioner to Constable,” Felix said.
Felix, who served from 2004 to 2006 and was succeeded by Greene, said that a Commissioner can appoint a body or a committee to investigate the conduct of ranks below him. But he said that in the case of the Commissioner, “then one would expect that a decision on the way forward would be taken by those above him.”
“The procedures require interdiction after charge. So no charge has been proffered and so interdiction cannot take place. But if a wider body outside of the organization is supervising very senior members of the Force on the investigation, I think that would give some measure of confidence to those looking on at the system and those involved in the allegations and that is easy to organize,” Felix said.
He noted that it is not easy to have such a senior person under investigation and holding office. “I don’t think that our laws have been so developed to systematically take the person out of office to permit the investigation but procedures can be developed to allow it to happen,” he said.
Felix, drawing a comparison to the time when he was the focus of an investigation, said, “I was written by the Prime Minister (Sam Hinds) for an explanation in a certain matter, which we all know about. One wonders if that will now take place.”
Felix stated, “I do not think that the present Commissioner is a stranger to being in hot water. I could recall a similar incident in 1974. I recall another incident at the Officers’ Mess in 1994.” He said that the Commissioner knows what behaviour is expected of him.
“He has been interdicting ranks who have been committing similar and lesser breaches of the law. So I think he has one honourable course of action to take and to do anything otherwise would be to force the hand of his superiors,” said Felix.
“Why would an innocent young woman come to the public and make an allegation of that sort? The second question I would like to ask is where are the women’s groups in her support,” he asked.
Felix recollected that the allegations against Greene in 1974 were similar to the present allegations that the Commissioner faces. Felix said that the allegations against Greene in 1994 have to do with violence of some sort. “And that one had involved a member of the Force,” Felix added.
Speaking at the press conference also, Mervyn Williams, a Member of Parliament for PNCR-1G in the last Parliament, said that the issue is more than just allegations made against a senior police officer. “There has been the development of a culture in this country under the PPP/C Government of the last decade or so. Senior public servants have been placed in acting positions for very long periods of time. Mr. Greene is an example,” he said. “Mr. Greene should have been on retirement. This incident would not have been a feature of public life had the Government done what they were required to do,” he said, adding that former President Bharrat Jagdeo acted improperly in appointing the Commissioner past his age of retirement.
“Mr. Greene should go. I am not talking interdiction and I am not talking on the basis or the premise of an allegation made against him. He should simply go. His time has passed,” said Williams.
Greene has not disclosed much to the media when pressed for information on the allegations against him, saying only that he is seeking legal advice and that God will be the judge.