2000 Policemen to be trained to better deal with domestic violence

– 896 cases reported so far for 2021
– as COPSQUAD2000 launched

The Human Services and Social Security Ministry in collaboration with the Home Affairs Ministry on Tuesday launched a new training programme called COPSQUAD2000 which will see 2000 policemen becoming better equipped to deal with domestic violence cases.

Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud (centre) with Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn (right) and Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie

During the simple launching ceremony, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn explained that this initiative is crucial, especially in light of recent statistics which show that more than 800 cases of domestic violence have been reported for the year so far. This represents a 22 per cent increase in domestic violence reports when compared to the same period last year.
“I want us men to stand up and admit to our faults as men and to talk about, work along the pathways of having a critical improvement in this problem and that the persons in society have to be the best representative in this matter and to represent the change which we want in society,” he added.
On this note, he called on the Police to be proactive and vigilant when such reports are made at the station and not simply send the victim back home “to get more licks.”

Both senior and junior Police Officers are being trained under COPSQUAD2000

“In terms of our approach now, the reason we’re having it, given the statistics, relates to failure in policing, failings in the society and fundamental failures of our men folks,” Minister Benn stated.
However, with cases of domestic violence on the increase in Guyana, Human Services Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud wants 2000 officers to be trained before the end of 2021 and called for a conscientious effort to be made for each reported case to be treated with the level of seriousness and urgency that it requires.
This, she noted, is in keeping with the ill effects that domestic violence brings with it including instability in families, disruption of lives, psychological and physical scars, and even death.
The new initiative seeks to ensure that once a domestic violence matter is brought to a Police station, it will be handled in a manner that accords with international best practices.
“We must not be happy with any level of mediocrity; we must not accept any level of doing lesser than we should,” Minister Persaud charged the senior and junior officers in attendance who hail from hinterland and coastal areas.
Once the policemen complete their training, the participants will receive a badge that will make them easily identifiable to those who turn up to make reports. Following the training, Minister Persaud stressed that the officers will be held accountable for the cases going to them.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie noted that domestic violence has been placed under the microscope by the Ministry which recently launched its 914 domestic violence emergency hotline, among other laudable initiatives.
According to him, statistics for January to June this year reveal that in 2020, there were 733 reports of domestic violence compared to 896 reports in 2021. As such, he implored the officers to make good use of the training and to share it with junior officers so that they can become well rounded and effective in carrying out their duties.
The training will be conducted both in person and online and will be done in batches of 30 for a maximum of eight days for the junior officers and five days for the senior ones.
The training will deal with interrogation, assessment of safety, how to counsel and respond to people who come to make complaints, and how to write case reports.
The Ministry, with its own set of trainers to complement the initiative, will be working with the Police Force to train instructors so that there will be continuity of the initiative.