Guyana’s Top Cop – Leslie James – promises improved Police Force in five months

Top Cop promises improved Police Force in five months – aviation unit, rehabilitated police stations, quicker response to crimes

Commissioner of Police Leslie James

he nation will have a vastly reformed police force within the next five months, if things go according to plan for new Commissioner of Police Leslie James.
Hosting his first press conference yesterday, Commissioner James disclosed that these improvements will include an aviation unit, an enhanced marine department, training, and the rehabilitation of several police stations countrywide.

“The Guyana Police Force is at a very important juncture, where we are in a deliberate way forging out a plan…from recommendations, and by March 2019, you will see a much reformed police force,” he told journalists.

He disclosed that the reforms will focus on three “broad categories” – human resource management, training and infrastructure.
“You are likely to see a number of police stations remodeled and recommissioned. For example, the one at Mackenzie, Linden, was commissioned two weeks ago, and a second one at Region Two, Aurora. Sixteen others will be commissioned shortly, and will be outfitted with modern-type units, such as one-way mirrors (for) forensic-type interviews, that will enable a better interaction with the citizens of the communities and will bolster our efforts to give better service.”

“Marine capabilities, too, will see better development,” the Top Cop added, noting that the Force on Wednesday had discussions with individuals regarding the marine section of the Force.

James said that two “immediate constraints” that he encountered on being appointed to the helm of the Force were the ability of ranks to patrol the various divisions and the response time to reports.

“Part of our reform will see better mobile and foot patrols and improved response time. Very soon we will have an aviation unit. If this country is a serious investment destination, it means we have to engage in best practices.”

The Force’s training institutions are also targeted for much needed reform, the Public relations arm will be upgraded, and the Traffic Advisory and other boards are being re-established.

But he also stressed that corruption “must be something of the past.”

“Let me say this… we remind the ranks of their mandate… we remind that our image is something we must be concerned with.”

Giving a comparative breakdown of crime statistics between January and October 22, James disclosed that there were 486 reported armed robberies this year in which firearms were used. In contrast, there were 525 similar robberies for the same period last year.

The Force also recorded 185 robberies this year in which instruments other than firearms were used; compared with 243 for a similar period in 2017; 202 reported rape cases this year and 189 for the first eight months of 2017.

James was sworn in as Commissioner of Police last August. The new Top Cop said that his mandate was to keep the peace in a “professional and unbiased” manner, while also stating that he had a plan to fight crime.

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