Female cops told to offer more support, protection to abused women

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Over 100 policewomen were told to ensure they provide support and protection to women who are victims of abuse and domestic violence.

This was expressed by Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn during a meeting with the female cops and Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken on Tuesday.

The meeting was held at the Officer’s Training Centre, Camp Road, Georgetown and centered on the professional handling of gender-based and domestic violence, a statement from Police Headquarters said.

Minister Benn said the meeting was not a reaction to several recent abuse reports in the media, “but more particularly, how we want to see our Police Force develop.”

The female cops were told to be more empathetic when dealing with such reports.

“That’s why you’re here. I had the feeling that the women police officers themselves really should be the champions in this matter – that if a woman or girl or a child is being treated improperly against what the Standing Orders require, that it helps that the women police step up and say ‘no, that is not the way it should be done’ and policewomen should offer protection and support,” Benn was quoted as saying in the police release.

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn (Photo: Guyana Police Force)

Minister said that the sore issue of abuse reports not being taken seriously by the police continues to be a challenge.

“We have a recurrent situation where the women complain that they go to the police stations, and they are turned away and that even women police officers fall in with, perhaps the agenda of the men, and perhaps they don’t want things to work. They don’t want to get involved because it may be a family or a friend,” Minister Benn revealed.

He further noted that issues of sexual harassment continue to be ‘troubling’ and declared that, “The workplace has to be safe for women.”

Female police ranks at the meeting on Tuesday (Photo: Guyana Police Force)

Meanwhile, Hicken in his remarks noted that the Police Force recognises that domestic violence and gender-based violence are topical issues. Hicken said that partnership with the relevant organisations is necessary to combat this issue.

The Top Cop revealed that there is a trend where police officers would try to have abuse reports ‘settled’ despite the force’s zero-tolerance policy.

Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken

“You’re all female ranks and you’re supposed to be championing domestic violence because most of the reports coming in, the victims are females. But instead of that, you’re exhibiting unprofessional behaviour and trying to settle matters,” the Top Cop was quoted as saying.

He issued a stern warning that indiscipline and unprofessionalism will not be condoned.

 

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