The Guyana Police Force yesterday denied that members of the Tuschen Community Police Group had been detained in connection with a shooting incident early last month.
The force response comes more than a week after an article under the caption “Police detain six members of Community Policing Group instead of chasing suspected bandits” was published in the Stabroek News. Residents had expressed dissatisfaction at the police’s handling of the matter and claimed that shots were discharged by a licensed firearm holder after suspected bandits were seen running from an abandoned house. They also lambasted the police for not only failing to answered numerous telephone calls to the Leonora Police Station on suspicious men being spotted but arresting the CPG members and the licensed firearm holder, instead of launching a search for the suspicious men.
“From the onset the Guyana Police Force wishes to categorically deny that any member of the Tuschen Community Policing Group was arrested and placed in police custody in this matter,” the press release said while explaining that it was Khemraj Ramgobin, the licensed firearm holder of Tuschen Housing Scheme who was detained.
The release said that on September 19, 2013, at about 23:10 hrs a report was received at Leonora Police Station that “gun shots were being discharged in the Tuschen Housing Scheme”. It stated that police ranks responded and enquiries led them to the man who admitted that he had discharged several rounds into the air from his firearm. “However, his reasons for doing so appeared not to be justifiable, and consequently he was invited to the Leonora Police Station,” the release said adding that at the station his story as to why he discharged his firearm conflicted with the one he had given earlier to the police, hence, he was requested to lodge his firearm and return the following morning.
According to the police on the following day, the man returned to the station accompanied by several members of the Tuschen Community Policing Group who made pleas for his firearm to be returned to him as he was of great assistance to them in anti-crime activities in the Tuschen area.
The man was subsequently “interviewed by a senior police officer at the station who eventually passed instruction for his firearm to be returned to him,” the release said adding that the man was cautioned about the indiscriminate discharge of rounds.
“The Guyana Police Force wishes to reiterate its total support for community policing which has become an integral part of the government’s crime fighting strategy,” the release said. It added that at no time were Tuschen Policing Group members placed under arrest as alleged in the article.
The force said it was again voicing its concern over the practice by some media representatives of publishing articles on police matters without seeking confirmation of such report from the police.