Former Policeman Joel Semple who in police attire, led a gang that robbed a teen on Tuesday night in West Demerara
Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie was on Wednesday has expressed his disappointment with the actions of former police constable Joel Semple who on Tuesday night led a gang that robbed a teenager in West Demerara of his money and then attempted to relieve him of his mobile phone.
Asked to comment on how a former member of the Guyana Police Force, who has been out the job for almost one year, could still be parading in attire which belongs to the Force, and conducting illegal activities while dressed in the attire.
Hoppie said that the returning of police uniforms and other items which form part of the complete kit which are issued to ranks upon their entrance to the Force, should commence at the station level.
He said all members of the Force who are dismissed, discharged or illegally withdraw from the force, usually receive written communication from the organisation informing them of their current status, and once they are served with that communication, they are required as a matter of principle and policy to return the property of the Force to their respective stations or units or the nearest police station.
“A document would be sent to the respective units, one of which is the Quartermaster’s Store. In this case we discovered that the individual who was apprehended over the river would not have returned his uniform to the stores. I must say also, that for him to be posing as a member of the Guyana Police Force when in fact he is not, is even graver,” Hoppie noted.
According to the Top Cop, when someone is removed from the Force or illegally withdraws, they are required to have thirteen clearances before they can receive their final payments from the accounts department.
He however stressed that there are persons who sometimes sever ties with the Force without even seeking to have their final payments.
Asked what systems are in place to ensure adherence by those who do not receive their final payments, thus have not been cleared as having handed in their kits and all other properties of the Force. Hoppie reiterated that it is the responsibility of the unit or station where the individual last worked to ensure that those items are returned.
The Commissioner however indicated that the force will be looking to strengthen the system as it relates to ensuring that its properties are returned to the organisation before anyone leaves.
There were instances in the past where persons who were not members of the Force, and never served the organisation, were found to be in possession of Force property, including footwear and uniforms. In fact, all the joint services organisations have had to deal with this same issue at some point.
Last Tuesday night, an ex-policeman and his friends carried out as robbery on a teenager in West Coast Demerara. The ex-policeman, who was dressed in attire which belongs to the Guyana Police Force, had pulled over the teen as he was on his bicycle, and proceeded to relieve him of his belongings.
“But officer…how police robbing people?” the traumatized teen asked when he called 911 to make his report about the robbery.