The Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) has condemned the conduct of Police Commissioner Henry Greene who has admitted sexual relations with a potential criminal defendant and called on him to resign saying that he was unfit to hold public office.
The agency said too that if Greene does not voluntarily resign then the Guyana government should fire him citing articles 211 and 255 of the constitution which set forth the procedure for dismissing a commissioner should he be found guilty of misconduct.
“TIGI wishes to condemn categorically the unethical conduct of the Commissioner of Police, who by his own admission engaged in sexual relations with a potential criminal defendant… By indulging in sexual relations with a person of such obvious vulnerability, Mr Greene abused his position and his authority. This clearly amounts to corrupt behaviour by internationally accepted standards …” the local corruption watchdog body said in a press statement.
The institute’s statement read: “TIGI is of the view that Mr. Greene is unfit to hold high or any public office and calls on him to resign immediately. If this is not forthcoming, then given the conclusion of the independent investigation by members of the Jamaican Police, we believe that it is incumbent on the government to invoke articles 211(4) and 225 of the constitution which prescribe the procedure for the removal from office of the Commissioner for misbehaviour.”
The Transparency Institute also said that it is unethical for the Commissioner of Police to engage in sexual relations with a potential criminal be it consensual sex or otherwise, since it violates the professional integrity of any law enforcement member, and certainly that of a commissioner.
It was unclear, TIGI continued, why audience with the commissioner should be granted to a potential criminal defendant since it has damaging conflict of interest ramifications. The statement went on to say, “It poses an irreparable conflict of interest, and will inevitably taint any further proceedings by raising the appearance of bias. No doubt it is considerations of this nature that render police officers of a lower rank who commit similar transgressions liable to punishment under the Police (Discipline) Act for acting in a manner likely to bring discredit to the reputation of the police force.”
Police corruption undermines the trust of the public, said the institute, and can act as a deterrent to cooperation in crime prevention, detection and investigation. Quoting an excerpt from USAID’s Program Brief – ‘Anti Corruption and Police Integrity‘ TIGI said, “If the police themselves are corrupt, anti-corruption efforts will be profoundly undermined. When they are tolerant of, complicit with, or even involved in criminal activity, they pervert their mission, becoming purveyors of insecurity rather than security.”
Greene has become embroiled in a swirl of controversy following allegations of rape last December by a Victoria woman.
The woman claimed that after meeting the top cop in November where she sought assistance in recovering her cell phone which had been seized by the police in another matter currently before the courts, she was raped. She said that on the evening of November 22 last year the commissioner informed her that she should meet him to collect the cell phone. It was on the said date that she alleges that he instead took her to a city hotel where he raped her, an allegation that Henry Greene denies saying instead that the two of them had a consensual relationship.
Following an investigation into the allegations by the Jamaican police the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recommended that the Police Commissioner be charged. Greene subsequently went to the High Court to have the DPP’s advice quashed and to bar the police from instituting the charge of rape against him. That case will continue today.