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Post Fri May 18, 2018 7:43 am

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The Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee, yesterday lambasted the ranks of the Guyana Police Force for their inability to properly treat with reports of domestic violence. He noted that on many occasions many of the ranks are not properly equipped to handle the reports.The minister was speaking at the launching ceremony of the National Policy on Domestic Violence, held at Hotel Tower yesterday.He said that, given the lack of knowledge and experience among ranks, a curriculum should be introduced at the Felix Austin Police College (FAPC) as it relates to domestic violence and how ranks could better function when it comes to complaints of domestic violence.“It is expected that the Police must be knowledgeable, at least in the rudiments of the Act (Domestic Violence Act 1996).”Rohee also noted that cooperation at the time of report and subsequent action are based on how educated the officer was. “It is extremely important not only to have a poster pasted on a wall.”He said that each policeman must have as many leaflets and educational material as is possible, and be exposed to as many lectures on the issue as possible.“From top to bottom there should be no equivocation when cases of domestic violence are reported.”Contrary to Rohee’s comments, a source close to FAPC disclosed that such a programme is in place,China Jerseys Cheap, and has been in place for a long time now, and officers are routinely exposed to a variety of supplementary training, which includes domestic violence.He also noted that ever since the ascension of the Act, enforcement has always been problematic.The Home Affairs Minister said that the reasons for the hurdles may lie in Guyana’s cultural heritage, hence, “it is embedded in people.”He also went on to say that, in some case, the Police at the stations are usually reluctant to take reports given that past experience has taught that reports made by females are usually against their husbands, who in most cases are the sole breadwinners of the home.The report is then subsequently recanted.He emphasised that, “The Police rank taking a report must be able to explain the nature of complaint and put (the abuser) before the court.”Rohee did concede, however, that at times the Police may have adopted a non-supportive attitude which, according to Rohee, is justified by the fact that the very Police rank is a “product of our society and condones violence against women.”Police, in the future, must adopt a new approach to domestic violence. “The new approach must manifest itself in cases put before the court.”Rohee noted that one of the weaknesses observed was the reluctance of the Police to be aggressively involved in taking and following up on complaints of domestic violence.“I believe, as Minister of Home Affairs, that more effective and aggressive policing is required.”Reports to the Police on cases of domestic violence doubled in 2007, as against the previous year.“There were 1,078 reports in 2006, compared to 3,621in 2007.’Rohee added that the figures only represented cases that were reported. “Bear in mind there are many cases that are not reported and recorded.”Most alarming, according to Rohee, was that in Berbice, 2006 saw 275 reported cases of domestic violence whereas last year there were 1,890 reported cases.The Home Affairs Minister also noted that there needs to be improvement in the current weak monitoring and record keeping of domestic violence.“I strongly support mandatory report and monitoring for convicted domestic violence perpetrators, the same as with deportees.”He added also that, as he traversed the country, it was also observed that different Police stations record domestic violence differently, and he advocated for a standardised way of recording the offence.“There must be a specific record keeping book in which only domestic violence is recorded”.He noted, too, that the efficiency with which the Police ranks carry out their duties must not depend on the attitude of individual ranks at a station. Rather, the treatment of any person approaching a Police station must be professional and based on established protocols.

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