The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has recorded more than 20% increase in domestic violence cases thus far for the year, according to Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie.
Delivering remarks at the launch of a domestic violence training for some 2,000 police officers on Tuesday, Hoppie revealed that a total of 896 cases were reported from the period January to June. In 2020, the number was a bit lower for the same period, with 733 reports received, representing a 22% increase.
But an even worrying trend presented as Hoppie explained that of the 896 reports, only 39 cases have made it to the court thus far when compared to 370 for the period outlined.
“Domestic violence is a crime against the core of human values….with dire effects on the victims, mainly women and children with accompanying social effects,” the top cop stated, adding that Guyana is no different.
At the police force level, the Commissioner of Police explained that back in 2009, a mandatory domestic violence module programme was introduced and formed part of the curriculum at the Felix Austin Training College.
Initially, a domestic violence unit was established to solely handle such sensitive reports, however, the unit was decentralised to the varying regions.
Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie
But a problem still exists when it comes to the handling of such reports and that is the “lackluster response” by police officers.
“The Force continues to urge and instill in ranks who have the ability to perform at different levels to ensure that the days of allegations of police lackluster behavioral responses to domestic violence are over,” Hoppie said.