Complaints Authority sees increase in reports against police ranks
Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), Cecil Kennard, has noted that there has been a marked increase in complaints against ranks of the Guyana Police Force.
In an interview with this publication, Kennard revealed that there has been an average of a 5% increase as compared to last year.
According to statistics, from January to mid-September of this year, there has been a total of 193 written complaints with an additional 270, which were made over the phone. Kennard said that of the written complaints, 142 were sent to the Commissioner of Police while the others were rejected having been considered trivial matters.
To date, Kennard said, from the 142 complaints, only 62 have been returned to the Complaints Authority.
Of the total number (193), there are two cases of alleged unlawful killing, 100 reports of neglect of duty, 30 cases of unlawful arrest, 20 illegal searches, 21 cases of unnecessary force, and 20 cases of incivility to persons.
Kennard said that he is somewhat satisfied with the relationship between his office and the police force, but noted that there continues to be the issue in terms of the timeliness in which the report is returned to the PCA.
“It is expected that we receive a report back within six to eight weeks, but this has not been the case, and this is our major concern,” Kennard lamented.
He also pointed out that his office over the years has had a good association with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Hence, he said he is satisfied that the recommendations made on any case that was investigated by his office are duly enforced, whether criminal charge or departmental charges.
Speaking on the recent cries from the wider society on police using excessive force, Kennard said his office continues to be bombarded by such complaints. He opined that the police need to carry out their duties in a more professional manner with the use of minimal force at all times. He said, however, in some of the cases which have been reported to them, investigations have shown there was very little evidence of excessive force.