Police Wives Assoc. accuse Police Force of “domestic abuse”

Police Wives Assoc. accuse Police Force of “domestic abuse”

The Police Wives Association believes the move by the Guyana Police Force to lock them out of their office and withdraw all support to the organisation is tantamount to domestic abuse.

“This is abuse, this is domestic abuse because by locking us out of our own building, the Guyana Police Force is abusing us psychologically”, the Chairperson of the Association Desiree Robin explained to News Source.

In an interview, Ms. Robin said the Guyana Police Force under its new leadership is making attempts to take over the private members organisation. She explained that the Association would usually have the wife of the serving Commissioner as its patron and when Seelall Persaud took over as the new Acting Police Commissioner, his wife was invited to take over the role of patron, which is a mostly ceremonial role.

Ms. Robin said the Association never got a response from Persaud’s wife but instead a letter was sent to the wife of former Commissioner of Police Leroy Brummel, inviting her to handover the duties of patron to the highest ranking  Female Police Officer. Under the Association rules, if the sitting Police Commissioner does not have a wife or if his wife is not interested in the post of patron, then the highest ranking Female Officer would be invited to take over the duties of  patron.

The letter to Ms. Brummel was sent by Assistant Police Commissioner Balwant Persaud and in a terse response, Brummel dismissed his request and pointed out that her time as patron ended when her husband demitted office.

The Association Chairperson said Brummel’s  response to Persaud may have triggered the decision by the Police Force to move in and shut down the operations of the group. She explained that the Association had no problem with the highest ranking female Officer acting as Patron, but at the first meeting, they became concerned when she turned up with over 100 new female recruits requesting that they all be allowed to join the association.

“We became concerned because in all of these years, they have been invited and we have never had more than 10 serving police officers joining our association. All of a sudden, we see over 100 new police women coming to the meeting and when we enquired from them why they wanted to join the organisation, they did not even appear to know that they were there to join the organisation”, the Chairperson said.

The Guyana Police Force in a statement announcing its decision to withdraw support from the group, said most of the group members are not wives or widows of police officers. But the Chairperson said that statement is untrue and the Police Force is trying to find ways to defend its “bad decision”. She said there are women in the Association who are not wives of Police officers but those women are supporters of the Association who have been there from its inception.

Ms. Robin told News Source that the Association gets most of its finances from fundraising activity and the Police Force does not make regular contributions to organisation. She noted that over the years, the group has launched several programmes targeting youths and retired police officers. All of those programmes may now be under threat with the Police blocking the group from gaining access to the building which was handed over to the group by now deceased Police Commissioner Henry Greene.

Executive members of the group are hoping that a way forward could be realised but noted that the new Commissioner of Police has failed to respond to their many request for meetings. The Chairperson of the group maintains that the group is a private members group and the Guyana Police Force cannot dictate to the group how it should conduct its operations.

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