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197 complaints lodged against police officers thus far in 2022

Police ranks [Photo: DPI]

The Police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has received some 197 complaints against the ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) thus far for 2022.

This was revealed by the Head of OPR, Assistant Superintendent Elston Baird. According to Baird, this figure represents a more than 100% increase in complaints compared to the same period of 2021. During the same period last year, some 97 complaints were received.

“[This] tells us that persons are coming in more often and lodging complaints attributing to the fact that I believe they have the confidence that the Office of the Professional Responsibility can provide the necessary satisfaction that they are looking for, and so we find a lot of persons coming to the OPR and lodging their complaints,” Baird explained.

The OPR Head clarified that not all complaints are subject to an investigation. In fact, he stated that some are sent to the Divisional Commanders, who address the complaint and provide a way forward.

Notwithstanding, Baird believes that some of these complaints are not because the ranks are not taking action but instead failed to provide the complainant with timely updates.

“One of the things that I find that are responsible for some of these complaints, police are taking action, not that they are not taking action, but sometimes we fail to give feedback. Feedback seems to be one of the issues,” the OPR explained.

He added, “And so, I want to encourage our officers to provide feedback; it wouldn’t take much if you just call the complainant and let them know, here we are, this is the stage we are at with your investigations and so that they will be much satisfied.”

Shifting his attention to police brutality and excessive force, Baird relayed that his office continues to receive such reports, and a training programme is currently in the pipeline to address this issue.

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