Cops cannot refuse to take report from victims – Minister

…says officers will be disciplined if found culpable

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has announced that all police stations are capable of taking statements and reports from persons, regardless of the situation or jurisdiction where the incident occurred since it can be forwarded to the relevant authorities.
This is in light of reports by frustrated victims of various crimes who are denied an opportunity to make a report or statement at some police stations since the offence reported did not occur within their jurisdiction. This has been an ongoing issue as members of the public have complained bitterly about being turned away or told to go to another police station to make a report.
Ramjattan, when asked about the issue, said that it is completely wrong for Police officers to do that and they can be disciplined for such practice.
“That is absolutely wrong on the Police Force and for a policeman to say that. The report ought to be taken and especially in the emergency nature by the police that the person first went to, even if it is a telephone call to tell the other station that a report was taken here,” Ramjattan said.
According to him, the present system allows for all police stations to be informed immediately of any offences that they should be aware of within their jurisdiction. This means that if the statement is taken, it can be conveyed to the station that has to deal with the matter.
“That is what happens. If a murder is committed…almost all the police station can get to know immediately what is happening. So the report must be taken so that even though the relevant and more central police station that has to take it, which will be conveyed to the police station,” he said.
The Public Security Minister referred to this act as lethargy on the part of law enforcement officials, who are culpable of doing such. He further stated that in the process of eradicating these occurrences, those who are guilty will be disciplined.
“I think that might just be lethargy and laziness on the part of the policeman who was told about the report. That is what we’re trying to professionalise. We are in the process of ensuring and those cases where that happens, I would like to get a little short complaint from the citizen so that I can send it to the office of professional responsibility. The policeman or station sergeant that does that will certainly be disciplined,” said Ramjattan.
Just recently, a University of Guyana student was robbed at the Stabroek Market, where he fainted due to strangulation. Subsequently, the police outpost informed him that he should visit the Brickdam Police Station. There, the officers on duty reportedly jotted down his information and referred him to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) which is responsible for such crimes.