Ramjattan accepts police delinquency in dealing with domestic violence
By Bibi Khatoon
Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan has acknowledged that police ranks have been ignoring reports of domestic violence.
There has been a significant amount of domestic violence cases over the past two months, a number of which led to fatalities. The most recent case which occurred yesterday includes a policewoman being chopped to death by a man who was said to be her lover. The man was then found hanging.
During an interview today, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan assured that other officers were not aware of any prior case of abuse against the Sergeant.
He said many of these cases of domestic abuse have to do with anger management, depression and other contributing factors.
“The Domestic Violence and the level that that is reaching and the domestic murders is giving me some sleepless nights here and indeed it has to do with a lot of contributing factors; some to do with early parenting—how they were brought up, depression cause a lot of this too…and relationships which have gone sour and people do not know how to control anger. Anger management is something that we might very well have to bring to many communities and even teach at schools,” the Minister explained.
In more than one instance, relatives and community members related that reports were made to the police prior to the tragedy but that these were not taken seriously. The Minister admitted that he has been privy to such situations, adding that there is a major case of delinquents in the Police Force.
“I’ve known of situations where indeed I was even called because the police did not go. That leaves a lot to be desired,” he said.
He also acknowledged that the officers are not adequately trained to deal with domestic violence and abuse cases—a point which was raised by various non-governmental organizations following the rape and murder of a 12-year-old Berbice boy.
“It is always a difficult thing. Some of my policemen are not aware of how to deal with some of these because they have not been trained to do that. They might have a basic, basic training as to what the definition of domestic violence is, in accordance with a law enforcement perspective, but what they require—and some of them might not be able with that capacity,” Ramjattan said.
The Minister said an order was given that every case of violence be investigated.
Referring to various officers who have brought the force into disrepute over the past month, the Minister said “I’ve been having a real bad month in relation to my policemen and my police force, they’ve drinking, they’ve been liming late on the seawalls, doing all manner of things. Leaving narcotics on desk and it’s being stolen.”
According to reports, at the end of August 2017, a total of fifteen domestic murders were recorded by the Guyana Police Force.