With the aim to sensitise the members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) on issues that affect children and families, the Childcare and Protection Agency (CCPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection held a two-day sensitisation session for Station Sergeants yesterday.
The session covers issues such as CCPA working with others to safeguard children; Child Protection and Sexual Offences Law; Domestic and Sexual Violence Reports; Gender Concept and stereotyping; Understanding Trafficking in Persons and Providing Victim Assistance.
Apart from the CCPA, the Counter Trafficking in Persons Unit, and the Gender Affairs Bureau will also be making presentations at the Session.
“It is important that we call in all these units to speak on these issues,” said Director of CCPA Ms Ann Greene, since they were able to have the sergeants in one place at the same time for two days.
In her opening remarks, Greene said that child abuse and assault on women are at an all-time high and as a result, there is a need for roundtable discussion by all stakeholders.
She said that it is the aim to have the officers and CCPA come up with strategies that will see them working together to ensure the safety of children and families.
“It is expected that when we’re done here in the two days we will have clear guidelines and [be] highly motivated and committed to developing the partnership, and doing our best to ensure children and family are protected,” Green added.
At the end of the two-day session, Greene said, Sergeants and the CCPA will work together to also come up with strategies to deal with domestic violence and child abuse in their division as first responders.
Acting Police Commissioner Paul Williams said that he understood the importance of the session since members of the GPF are the ones who would be in receipt of the complaints of allegations if a child is being abused.
“We have recognized that despite the role there are challenges that we will face during the process of investigation and therefore it is important for partnership,” Williams said.
In his remarks, Williams recalled that it was once the public’s perception that the police were not doing enough based on the outcome of some matters, he said that persons do not realise the challenges of the GPF.
He said that there are times when the police would not get the cooperation of the child or the parents, and there may also be other external factors that influence the child which may prevent the police from doing their work.
He added that with the partnership with the CCPA, Social Protection and the GPF, things have changed drastically and “where our results are bearing fruits…that sends a message.”
The session is being held for two days and will conclude tomorrow with sergeants receiving certificates for their participation.
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