Ministry seeking consultant to train police on handling domestic violence

Rohanie Lakhan and Ramesh Ramdeen

The Ministry of Public Security has advertised for a consultant to train police on responding to cases of domestic violence.

In yesterday’s Stabroek News, the ministry said that under the Inter-American Development Bank-funded Citizen Security Strengthening Programme, financing is available for a “consultancy service to provide training on domestic violence scenario response for the Guyana Police Force (GPF)”.

The advertisement said that the consulting services include developing a comprehensive training module which addresses the skills and knowledge that would enable the police to “demonstrate the requisite levels of professionalism, empathy, and integrity” when dealing with incidents of domestic violence.

The consultancy also includes the training of 120 police ranks and public officials. The duration of the consultancy is six months.

The police force has had multiple sessions of training in the past from a variety of persons on handling domestic violence cases but complaints continue about the indifferent response from law enforcers. This has resulted in persons who have made complaints to the police being maimed or killed by the people they complained against.

Earlier this month, a Corentyne family filed a complaint against the police after their daughter was murdered by her husband after the two were left together by a policewoman who had been deputed by a magistrate’s court to ensure that the woman safely collected her belongings from the marital home.

The family is demanding justice from the authorities and is calling for the dismissal of Police Sergeant 15818 Vanessa Williams, who they say acted carelessly  when she accompanied the now murdered woman,  Rohanie Lakhan, to her Lot 101 Kilcoy, Chesney Housing Scheme house in order for her to collect her belongings.

The family is contending that if the policewoman had not left the house, the husband, Ramesh Ramdeen would not have had the opportunity to murder the woman. After committing the act, he killed himself.

There have been other cases similar to this and the police have long been accused of treating these matters as `husband and wife’ business.

It is unclear what this new consultancy will bring to the table.

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