The Police Commissioner should partner with the community to fight white collar as well as blue collar crime

Dear Editor,

The confirmation of Leroy Brummel as Commissioner of Police (COP) is noted. And it is through his stick-to-it-iveness that his dream has been realised. As the COP settles in this office as substantive holder, his recent utterances at key and critical moments ought to be taken note of: 1) the November 2012 claim to supporting the boss in reference to Clement Rohee during the National Assembly no-confidence motion; 2) seeming to invite the society to engage in vigilante justice at a Meten-Meer-Zorg meeting last month; and 3) the claim that the Force cannot please everyone, in addressing critics during his swearing in ceremony.

Mr Brummel needs to understand he has sworn to uphold the laws, without fear, favour or ill-will and he is not being paid to satisfy any boss, friend, family or acquaintance, or turn his back on the law. For his is the responsibility to man a Force that operates within the parameters of the Laws of Guyana. And in so doing as he executes the laws based on the oath of office, whosoever’s action conflicts with the laws, he is duty bound to make sure the laws are activated. In a modern society all must be held to the same standards and play by the same rules.

The COP faces a herculean task given that the society is awash with lawlessness, but he can successfully deliver on his mandate by creating a Force that partners with the community in fighting not only blue collar crimes but also white collar crimes that are being committed daily on the people, in the name of the people.

As bodies continue to fall, many are blaming the police, but one needs to take note the Force is geared to identify and place before the courts those who may have committed crimes. But if the other governmental arms whose responsibility it is to put systems in place to make it a dis-incentive to commit crimes, continue to fall short then we won’t be making progress. The church, family and other sections of civil society can only do so much to instil a moral compass in their patrons, but when persons look outside of these structures and have to face a tough life or see the rewards of criminality coming from the corridors of power and their associates, the temptation to follow suit is hard to resist.

As such the political directorates responsible for Mr Brummel’s appointment need to recognise crime permeates the entire society and eliminating it requires both curative and preventative measures. And as elected officials they have a greater responsibility to society and it is incumbent upon them to seriously examine the malaise contributing to crime being a means to an end. For instance there are too many school drops-out, high unemployment, glamourisation of ill-gotten gains by persons in public office, and the get rich quick syndrome.

And as the Leader of the Opposition speaks about security he is urged not to confine it to providing the forces with supporting services but to also look at security through a holistic lens that factors in appropriate education, health services, employment tenure, agriculture and food, and protection for all under the laws.  These are fundamentals to be addressed in pursuit of reducing/eliminating crime. And the failure to guarantee such security will continue to push persons into the path of criminal activities. Thus any strategic plan that addresses crime must not only be from the perspective of the police, it must also be buttressed by a programme that addresses the socio-economic deprivations in the society.

 

Yours faithfully,
Lincoln Lewis

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