Police, Welfare Officers partner to address domestic abuse

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Amidst rising concerns over the way police officers deal with victims of abuse, the Social Protection Ministry on Thursday began a two-day sensitization session with station sergeants and staff of the Ministry.

Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency, Ann Greene, addressing the opening ceremony at Parc Rayne, Houston, East Bank Demerara said the initiative is a timely one since “child abuse and assault on women is at an all-time high.”

As part of the program, she said the law enforcement officers along with childcare officers will be tasked with developing plans which address child abuse and domestic violence in their respective divisions.

Crime Chief, Paul Williams acknowledged that police are the ones who receive information first when it comes to abuse. However, he noted that in too many instances, persons rush to blame the police when the outcome of cases is not as expected without realizing the challenges faced.

A section of the gathering

“In terms of where we may not have the cooperation of the child or the parents or so many other factors externally that might have influenced the child in terms of being free and fair,” he emphasized.

The Crime Chief noted that the training will bring about transparency during investigations by the police and the welfare officers but he was quick to point out that majority of the times, the relationship falters at the level of junior officers.

There are several cases where domestic abuse is not dealt with until it ends in murder. According to statistics released by the Guyana Police Force today, out of 26 murders recorded from January to April 2018, seven were domestic murders.

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