Arbitrary detention is never tolerated – police

The Guyana Police Force is fully cognizant of the stipulated period for detention in the Constitution of 72 hours and Divisional and Branch Commanders are fully abreast of the requirements in this respect; as such detention beyond this period has a Constitutional provision of approach to the High Court for an extension.

This was said in a response to an article published in the Kaieteur News on Sunday October 16, 2011, under the caption ‘Public lashes out at Police Force for perceived abuse of authority’.

A police press release stated that at all stations and branches where persons are detained as prisoners, “a prisoners’ state is prepared to advise the Commanders concerned of detention periods”. It added that there is no excuse for holding a person under investigation beyond the stipulated time frame without recourse to the High Court.

According to the release, “Once such instances are reported, immediate action is taken to release the prisoner and to launch an investigation into the prolonged detention. Arbitrary detention is never tolerated and there is no intention to abuse power.”

Attorneys whose clients have been arbitrarily detained may approach the court by way of habeas corpus for redress for their clients if they are so instructed or inclined, or may make a complaint to the Divisional Commander or Office of the Commissioner of Police to have the matter investigated, the release added.

Over the years lawyers have make repeated complaints at the level of the Magistrate’s Court about clients being held beyond the 72-hour period.

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