Recent developments within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) can at best be described as quite disturbing.
THE NEW TODAY is referring specifically to reports of the discovery of a Driver’s permit racket, the investigation into “Chickengate”, the missing guns and reports that an Immigration Officer had to be transferred out of the Department on suspicion of facilitating human trafficking with the use of Grenadian passports to persons of Asian descent.
The hierarchy of RGPF should be put under scrutiny as regards the systems that have been put in place to limit acts of wrong-doing by the rank and file members of the force.
The Audit Department of Government has spent a considerable amount of time with members of the force over the years on the structures to be built to ensure greater accountability.
There is no reason for any “Chickengate” to go undetected for years if the “big boys” at headquarters at Fort George were on top of things.
A major problem with RGPF is favouritism with the so-called elite officers in the High Command showing favouritism in promotion and in selecting certain persons considered as their cronies to fill important positions.
There is an Inspector of Police who spent several months on assignment with the Audit Department to get a better appreciation of the systems that are needed for better accountability and transparency within RGPF?
Where is this officer? Has he been fully utilised by the High Command? Did he help to enhance and improve on the existing accounting systems in place within the force? If not, why?
Those at the top within the High Command should shoulder some of the blame for a breakdown in things and the opening up of the door for some of their colleagues to engage in acts of wrong-doing.
It is difficult to put a system in place for an arm of the force such as the Special Services Unit (SSU) at Point Salines to receive 100lbs of chicken each week and to pay for exactly what was received and not one cent extra.
If the person receiving it was facilitating wrong-doing then the Police Force had a duty and responsibility to have a system of checks and balances.
If the SSU books are audited on a regular basis there would be an early red flag and the scam would be quickly spotted and nipped in the bud.
The Prime Minister in his capacities as both Minister of National Security and Minister of Finance should be particularly concerned about any alleged financial wrong-doing in the force.
This become even more important since fingers are being pointed not only at a particular officer but another top one with links to some of those who sit inside the Cabinet Room on a weekly basis.
The Director of Audit should be called in to help with an independent investigation into “Chickengate” and to allow the chips to fall where ever they may fall.
THE NEW TODAY will not easily buy into an investigation of the allegation by only police officers.
Mr. Commissioner of Police, this newspaper is still waiting to hear from you about the outcome of the so-called investigation into the report made to you by a female police officer who has since resigned and left the country about being raped at a police house by a Superintendent of Police and being sexually molested by two others.
As a matter of fact one of the persons named in the report to Commissioner James has since been promoted under his watch. Given the above why would this newspaper have total confidence in the police conducting a fair and impartial investigation into “Chickengate” in light of some of the names being called as possible culprits?
As regards the alleged racket in the Traffic Department, this is nothing new within RGPF since some officers often abuse their positions in this unit to engage in graft and corruption.
The word on the ground for sometime now was that the going price to acquire a driver’s licence from the police on the black market was $EC500.00 or sexual favours.
The alleged perpetrators of the scam could be seen every weekend at some popular bars drinking whiskey and other high priced drinks and always surrounded by a host of female companions. Was this a red flag that was missed by the High Command?
How come John Public was aware of all the happenings and not the “big boys” on the Fort? Is the Special Branch being used to only monitor persons considered as opponents and hostile to the current regime?
Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. Commissioner of Police, the taxpayers of this country have been called upon since the return of the New National Party (NNP) into governmental power in 2013 to make sacrifices to address a fiscal deficit that should be blamed squarely on those who took this country to financial ruin between 1995 and 2008 through an ill-advised policy of borrow and spend.
It is time for greater respect to be shown to the usage of their hard-earned funds and to bring an end to a growing culture in this country in which some government employees, not only in the police force, use their positions of authority to enrich themselves through all sorts of illegal activities.