[www.inewsguyana.com] – Acute budgetary constraints, inadequate training and poor equipment have all severely limited and hampered the Guyana Police Force’s Effectiveness. This is according to US State Department Report 2013’s sub heading which addressed the Role of the Police and Security Apparatus.
The report made reference to the Caribbean Development Report which was commissioned by the United Nations Development Program and stated that Public Confidence in the Guyana Police Force was very low during 2013.
According to the US report, this low public confidence stemmed from reports of corruption within the police force. However in 2011, 39 police force members were hauled before the courts for various crimes including robberies, simply larceny, bribery and indecent assault.
The annual report made it clear that the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) which investigates abuse by police force members is not an independent investigative unit.
For 2012 the report added that the Police Complaints Authority received 250 written complaints, 450 oral complaints of which 106 were sent to the body by the Commissioner of Police, Leroy Brumell.
Most of the reports cited dereliction of duties, unlawful arrest and unnecessary use of force. The PCA recommended disciplinary action in 70 of the cases while criminal charges were recommended in five other cases. There were a total of 91 reports which were outstanding at the time the 2013 report was compiled.
The US State Department Report also pointed out that due to the absence of an investigative unit, impartial and transparent assessments of the accusations coming to the PCA were hampered.
At the time of the compilation of the US Report, the PCA had six full time positions and had requested the creation of another position for someone to handle the statement records. The report added that by law the Police Commissioner must comply with the recommendations of the Complaints Authority.
But with the PAC being staffed with only six persons and not having its own independent investigative unit, it relies on the Guyana Police Force to investigate its own.
“Of utmost disgust also is the delays in receiving reports from the Commissioner of Police which has effectively thwarted the complaints process,” the report pointed out.
Most cases involving charges against police officers were heard by lower magistrate courts, where specially trained police officers served as the prosecutors, the report added.