Jun 13, 2010 Letters
The killing of 16-year-old Kelvin Anthony Fraser in Patentia comes as another example of the failure of promised police reform and reflects a disturbingly low point in the way in which the Guyana Police Force (GPF) carry out their duties of service and protection to citizens of our communities.
Help & Shelter joins in extending our deep sympathy to the family, relatives and friends of Kelvin Anthony Fraser on their loss.
While noting that there will be an investigation and, no doubt, charges laid, we call for urgent measures to be taken to ameliorate the GPF’s relationship with communities and young people.
The GPF needs to let the public know the procedures that their ranks and officers must follow in the apprehension of unarmed suspects.
It is unacceptable that a 16-year- old youth could be shot and killed, as was Kelvin Anthony Fraser.
Furthermore, the response of the police to requests for assistance seems to be largely ad hoc. The proposals for new forms of community policing that were made as part of the Disciplined Services Commission enquiry have languished.
While there is a crisis of violence in and around our schools and in our communities, the killing of a child is a totally inappropriate response.
Help & Shelter has worked with the GPF in different areas and has had the privilege of witnessing progress in how some members deal with matters.
We can only conclude that the contradictions that are evident in the way in which they deal with citizens are a result of the lack of clear policies and guidelines that every police officer is to adhere to and which citizens can expect to be followed in all their dealings with the police.
We call on the Government of Guyana to institute the reforms that are needed for the Guyana Police Force to work effectively with citizens to deal with crime.
Help & Shelter
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