Guyana Police: Deputy Police Commissioner Lyndon Alves suspended

President David Granger meets the newly sworn in police leaders last year. At left is Commissioner Leslie James while at right is Deputy Commissioner in charge of Law Enforcement, Lyndon Alves.

It heralded the dawn of a new era after a painful inquiry, ordered by Government, that stemmed from an alleged assassination threat against the president.

The shortcomings of the police force, from the report that came, called for new leadership– a new-look police force.
Less than a year has elapsed and one of those deputies, Lyndon Alves, who is heading Law Enforcement, has been sent on leave.   

Alves, as a Deputy Commissioner, would have had his fingers on the criminal hotspots, being briefed on the cases that made the news and mattered.

As Crime Chief, he is a powerhouse.

Alves has been suspended after weeks of damning accusations against a number of ranks and seniors in Berbice that told a sordid tale of linkages to criminal elements and cover-ups.

One of three bandits killed in Berbice during a police operation to hunt criminals at the back of Black Bush Polder, had phone numbers of police ranks stored in his phone.

Reportedly, there was one number linked to a top city cop.

Yesterday, following the breaking of a story by the state-owned Chronicle that Alves had been sent home, there was no immediate confirmation from the police force or an official statement from the Ministry of Public Security.

President Granger with Commissioner Leslie James and his deputies. At right is Lyndon Alves,

However, multiple sources confirmed that Alves had been sent home pending a probe, in the “public’s interest”.
In recent weeks, whistle blowing ranks told reporters of a number of shocking instances where criminals openly consorted with police ranks, including at known gambling and drinking spots.

They alleged police protection to drug dealers and shipments and bribes to duck cases.

Over the weekend, it was alleged that one drug dealer paid a rank over one millions dollars, as an advance, to ‘take out’ a colleague rank who was witness in a case.

There were other cases of blatant cover-up, with the knowledge and instruction of the top police official from Georgetown.
Berbicians, including representatives of the private sector and from the region, had appealed for the president to take action in what they said was a runaway situation.

In fact, there were a number of shocking home invasions and brutal beatings of victims.

The bandits were all known to the police.

On Monday, the Opposition called for a separate inquiry.

Last August, during the swearing in ceremony of the new commissioner and his deputies, the President urged them to ensure that they work vigorously not only to fulfil the mandate of the Guyana Police Force but also to root out corruption and rebuild and regain public trust.

“Unless those officers are persons of integrity, intelligence and impartiality, this country will never be secure and our women and children will never be safe. This country cannot move forward unless the Guyana Police Force preserves the environment, the peace and security of the State and the people to allow us all to go about our work without being harassed, without being threatened.”

The president said that Guyana had come through a long dark period.

“It makes me weep to think about the number of Policemen who were killed between 2000 and 2010. Never before in the history of the Police Force and it must never happen again in this country. Never before has the Police been so badly used that many of them were accused of being complicit with narcotics traffickers, gunrunners, tax evaders and assorted smugglers.

“There are not many but those few have given the Police Force a bad name,” he said.

He also said then that the public trust is important.

“Security sector reform is essential to maintain a Force, which is committed to citizens’ safety. That is my principle concern.
“This Government will resist any attempt from any quarter to reverse, to retard or to thwart the reforms in which we are about to embark and I look to this new team to promote those reforms vigorously to ensure that from year to year the citizens of this country see that the Guyana Police Force is there to serve and to protect them.

“We have to rebuild public trust and I am confident that we have a team of men and women who are going to rebuild that public trust.”


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