Dec 07, 2017 News
With the establishment of the Sexual Offences Court at the level of the High Court, child rights advocates are renewing calls for the establishment of a Special Victims Unit (SVU), under the Guyana Police Force.
The SVU is expected to close the timeline on solving crimes of sexual violence, with special attention being given to each case under investigation by the police.
Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), Ann Greene has been lobbying for the establishment of a SVU.
The CPA Director believes that the SVU is the best way to effectively tackle issues of child abuse in Guyana.
Given the nature of such matters, Greene noted that an SVU would be optimal, since it would allow the agency and the police to work together to ensure that the investigation is complete and a charge filed against the suspect or suspects in some cases, as soon as possible.
According to Greene, in most cases the amount of time is not enough for the police to institute a charge swiftly, hence when they are ready; the abusers have fled the jurisdiction.
According to her, as a result of a deficiency on the part of the police, there are a host of charges for sexual assault on children pending, as the police have not been able to wrap up investigations.
“Whatever needs to be done should be done in a hurry…It is time for a Special Victims Unit…where we can work together to bring these charges in 72 hours,” said Greene.
Red Thread Founder and activist, Karen De Souza has added her voice to the calls for the establishment of a unit that is integral to ensuring that investigations into the cases of sexual violence are completed in an efficient manner.
De Souza said that while there have been efforts by the police force to solve sexual offence cases in an exclusive manner, there is much room for improvements in this regard.
“There is definitely room for much more work to be done in terms of aiding the investigative process,” She said
She noted that with the opening of the specialised court at the High Court, a specialised court at the level of the Magistrates’ Courts can also help to close the gaps.
Last month, Guyana became the first territory in the Caribbean to establish a Court which deals specifically with sexual offences matters.
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