Police being trained to address domestic violence, child abuse By Shawnel Cudjoe
Guyana Chronicle
July 11, 2003

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Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Henry Greene delivering the feature address to participants at the seminar yesterday.
FIFTEEN Sub Divisional Officers and Inspectors of the Guyana Police Force will benefit from a two-day training seminar that began yesterday at the Felix Austin Police College, Eve Leary.

The seminar is geared to minimize alleged inappropriate police responses to report Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.

Participants will be trained in Domestic Violence Intervention and Child Abuse and will be exposed to two hard days of work to understand their responsibility and obligation to members of the public, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Henry Greene stated.

Delivering the charge to the participants the Assistant Commissioner outlined some of the officers obligation to victims of domestic or child abuse.

He explained that it was the officers’ duty to escort the abused person to a safe environment and to the place of the incident to uplift their personal belongings to ensure that there is no breach of the peace.

“Once the police intervene in a domestic violence situation, we must act properly to ensure that the victims receive proper attention”, he said.

Some of the participants at the training seminar yesterday.
Victims must be advised to preserve the evidence of the act, whether it is bloodied clothing or scratches about the body and be informed of their rights and the Police are obligated to provide a written report of the incident, he further added.

All domestic violence and child abuse records should be kept in a separate book for easy access and reference and it is important that the Police are confidential in their conduct.

Giving an overview of the programme was Inspector Mr. Dereck Josiah who said that from 1999 to 2003 some 800 members of the Force benefited from the training seminars.

He noted that the training session have brought about greater awareness and sensitization among the members of the force and he further stated that the number of reports and arrests have increased over the period of time.

Another advantage of the training, he noted was that Ranks began having a better appreciation for victims of domestic abuse and has begun offering the necessary support.

For the year 2002, they were 777 reports, 750 arrests, with 250 charges. There was a total of 627 reports, 620 arrests and 300 charges in 2001 and finally 2003, 1,100 reports were laid, 1000 arrests and 500 charges laid.

Josiah noted that the charges were mostly related to physical and sexual abuse.

The Assistant Commissioner noted that “a victim of domestic violence must not be put in front of the station for display”, but rather be treated “with utmost confidence and should be dealt with separately”.

The objective of the course is to sensitize its participants about the dynamics of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and the need for some form of intervention.