Police seek legal advice in over 3000 cases in 2020
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) gave legal advice in 3684 files received from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for 2020. This is according to the end of year statistics released by the DPP’s Office.
For last year, the DPP advised on the institution of criminal charges against several Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and APNU/AFC officials who are currently before the courts for their efforts to rig the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.
Over the years, the offences for the files have included murder, manslaughter, rape, fatal accidents, possession of illegal arms and ammunition, rape of a child under 16, among others.
Apart from the GPF, the DPP’s Office also offers legal advice to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), and other Government agencies. The DPP also provides legal advice to Government Ministries.
Among other things, the functions of the DPP include presenting indictments in the criminal sessions at the High Courts in Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo. During these criminal sessions, one or more State counsel would be assigned to prosecute the cases listed to be heard by the sitting trial Judges.
There are four assizes for the year in the county of Demerara and three assizes each in the counties of Berbice and Essequibo. The courts in all three counties sit nearly simultaneously during these assizes.
The DPP also enters plea bargain agreements with lawyers at their request and after due consideration of the matter. Furthermore, prisoners who are awaiting trial in the High Courts and other parties to a criminal matter can complain to the DPP if they are not satisfied with the Police investigations.
The DPP also receives letters from Attorneys-at-Law about issues concerning their clients’ case. The Office of the DPP would take the appropriate action. Complaints received on misconduct by members of the Police Force are sent to the Commissioner of Police for action to be taken by the Office of Professional Responsibility. Complaints can also be made to the Police Complaints Authority for their action.