Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon and a team from the APNU+AFC met this afternoon with Acting Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie and senior Officers of the Force on a number of issues of concern.
During the hour-long meeting, Mr. Harmon said he made known to the top cop, that the Force’s posture in dealing with certain matters is not one that instills full confidence in the entire population.
“As I said to them also, we believe that the police force has the engender confidence in the population. The perception is that some part of the police force has been weaponized to act against the interest of us in the Opposition and generally to some of our constituents- we believe that is something that has to be corrected very early”, Mr. Harmon told the media after the meeting.
During the meeting, Mr. Harmon raised the recent issue of Members of Parliament for the APNU+AFC being prevented from entering the compound of the National Assembly while the President was addressing the Parliament.
He said a promise was made by the Commissioner to investigate the claims that have been made.
“This is our first meeting with the Commissioner, and I think he was genuinely concerned about the issues which we raised. He promised to inquire into them, he promised to take certain steps and we will give him some time to deal with those issues”.
Harmon also raised the issue of the enforcement of the COVID-19 guidelines. The Guyana Police Force has been heavily criticised for its failure to effectively enforce the curfew and other measures related to stemming the spread of COVID-19.
On the matter of the appointment of a substantive Police Commissioner, Mr. Harmon believes that he should be consulted before any such appointment is made.
The post will become vacant in May, when Police Commissioner, Leslie James officially heads into retirement.
Commissioner James has been on accumulated and pre-retirement leave for more than six months.