Police says raped prisoner assaulted ranks; Top Cop knew of assault since December

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The injured Colwyn Harding.
The injured Colwyn Harding.

[www.inewsguyana.com]In its first official statement on the matter concerning the raped prisoner – Colwyn Harding –  the Guyana Police Force on Wednesday, January 15 stated that Harding committed the offences of Assaulting Peace Officer and behaved disorderly while he was in custody.

Harding is the young man who was brutally assaulted by a Police Constable of the Timehri Police. The Police Constable, identified as Singh, is accused of inserting a condom laden baton into Harding’s anus, damaging his intestines.

According to the Police, the Commissioner of Police, Leroy Brumell was made aware of the issue since December 2013. The Force, in its statement explained that Harding was in police custody between November 15 and November 18, 2013, at the Timehri Police Station pending investigations into a report of Break and Enter and Larceny.

“During that period he committed the offences of Assaulting Peace Officer and Disorderly Behaviour for which he was charged and appeared in court on November 18, 2013. Colwyn Harding was placed on bail in the sum of $50,000.00, but he was unable to raise this sum and was remanded to prison. The matters are still before the court.”

In its statement, the Police Force noted that the “The Administration of the Police Force was first informed of the alleged assault by the police of Colwyn Harding by way of a text message from a female to the Commissioner of Police during December 2013.”

It was noted that an investigation was launched by the Divisional Commander of ‘A’ Division under which the Timehri Police Station falls, but this has been found to be incomplete.

“The Commissioner of Police has now directed that the Police Office of Professional Responsibility take over the investigation which is expected to be completed shortly.”

In the meantime, the policeman who has been accused of the alleged assault has been placed under close arrest and a number of other ranks stationed at the Timehri Police Station have been transferred to other Police locations.

“The Guyana Police Force wishes to emphatically state that unbecoming behaviour by members of the Force will not be tolerated and condign action will be taken against any rank found culpable of such action.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement noted that it is awaiting the submission of a report on this matter from the Guyana Police Force.

“The allegation has raised once again public interest as regards treatment of prisoners by Junior Police Ranks who allegedly flaunt the Force’s Standing Orders, thus bringing the Guyana Police Force into disrepute,” the Home Affairs Ministry noted.

The Ministry went on to condemn such beaches by any member of the Force.

“Such breaches fly in the face of the efforts at Police Reform and make a mockery of the hard work by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Strategic Management Department of the Guyana Police Force to successfully implement a strategic plan aimed at modernizing and reforming the Guyana Police Force.”

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