‘Serious Deficiencies and Weaknesses’ in the Police Force Exposed: Granger


President Comments on Commission of Inquiry into Alleged Assassination Plot

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (Sept 8, 2017) – President David Granger Friday said that the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the alleged assassination plot against him has exposed serious deficiencies and weaknesses in the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

He said these “weaknesses” have to be corrected even as he made it clear that the COI was not meant to be a witch-hunt.

In April this year, there were reports of a plot to assassinate Granger and questions later surfaced about the investigative approach employed by GPF.

On June 30, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon announced that the President had ordered an Inquiry into the allegation, to be headed by retired Assistant Police Commissioner, Paul Slowe.

Granger told reporters that work has to be done to ensure that the police service is more professional and efficient in the execution of its duties and responsibilities.

Speaking to reporters on the side lines of the Launch of the Demerara-Mahaica Regional Agricultural and Commercial Exhibition (RACE) Granger said that while Cabinet has not deliberated on the contents of the report as yet, its findings point to some critical areas, which will need to be addressed as part of security sector reform.

“The Commission] made some very strong recommendations. Even persons who have been following the day-to-day reports would have realised that there has been a significant lapse in professionalism at the high levels of the Guyana Police Force, so these are matters of concern.

“It has brought to light some serious deficiencies and I am very confident that the work that Mr. Russell Combe is doing will point to ways in which we can correct the deficiencies. The important thing is to ensure that we get information so that we can correct faults. It is not a witch-hunt. We are trying to make the law enforcement agencies more efficient,” he said.

Combe is a British security expert, who is an advisor to President Granger as part of the United Kingdom’s US$4.7 billion Security Sector Reform (SSR) Programme, which had been scrapped by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration in 2009. He is expected to produce an initial interim report shortly.

Speaking on a television programme here last November, President Granger, said that while the GPF had not received the attention it deserved in the past, his administration will work to make it a sound, professional organisation.

“We reckon that the decision that we took to bring the British Security Sector Reform Programme here is the right one because we cannot proceed in this country with an unreformed Guyana Police Force and some of the actions, which are taking place convince me that reform has to take place and we are going to do that,” he said. – CMC