New police squad to tackle armed situations
August 7, 2004
`I can't promise you that there will be no more deaths because there are always those who will push us to the limit; but now the police would be better prepared to exercise more constraint and tolerance in armed situations’ – Police Commissioner Winston Felix
SOME 100 members of the Police Force have completed an intensive training programme under British experts and are ready to better handle armed situations, Police Commissioner Winston Felix announced yesterday.
The squad yesterday concluded two weeks of training in new methods of responding to armed situations as part of the government's effort to improve the quality of service delivered by the Force regarding armed confrontations, he said.
In a practical demonstration at the Managers Quarters of Demerara Distillers Limited at Diamond, East Bank Demerara, members of the squad went through their paces using the new techniques under the guidance of British Chief Superintendent Paul Robinson and his team.
"I can't promise you that there will be no more deaths because there are always those who will push us to the limit, but now the Police would be better prepared to exercise more constraint and tolerance in armed situations", Felix said at the ceremony.
He noted that there had been much debate and controversy recently over armed confrontations involving the police and said every effort was being made to improve the situation.
In the late 1990's, a study was conducted by British law enforcement officers on the operations of the Guyana Police Force and a report was compiled and circulated.
Subsequently, two British officers Mike Dennis and John Denny came and interviewed many of the officers here, the Government Information Agency (GINA) noted.
It recalled that in 2001, four officers including now Commissioner Felix, were in the United Kingdom for three months and were involved in training related to armed situations.
"From what I have learnt I realised that such training will help us. There are more layers in our responses to armed situations than from threat to firing," he said yesterday.
Under the guidance of Robinson and his team, there were several exercises on briefing and planning to cope with armed situations.
Robinson noted that the element of surprise, aggression and team work will be a success in any operation and is pleased with the enthusiasm shown by the officers.
Acting Home Affairs Minister, Ms Gail Teixeira, was among those at yesterday’s ceremony and told GINA she was pleased with the performance of the officers who completed the training programme.
"We have a top notch team from Britain whose experience and expertise will definitely benefit our men", she said.
Lamenting the changing nature of crime, she said that from the demonstration she saw, the officers will handle situations they face differently.
The training will be done in all police divisions in the country and officials expect the programme would become a standard operational procedure in the Police Force.
Yesterday’s demonstration showed how three persons who robbed a local businessman were apprehended using the least amount of violence.
Also at the ceremony were Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier General Edward Collins, Crime Chief Henry Greene, British High Commissioner Stephen Hiscock and other officials.