The Police Complaints Authority has launched investigations into 30 new matters involving alleged police misconduct in the Berbice District.
The investigations stem from complaints made by residents when the Chairman of the body Cecil Kennard paid a visit to the Ancient County over the past weekend.
Kennard, a Former Chancellor of the Judiciary, reported a large turnout of residents on Saturday at the Berbice High School where he entertained complaints ranging from Neglect of Duty, which takes into account the police’s failure to record citizens’ complaints and failure to attend court.
Speaking with this newspaper yesterday, Kennard said that there were also several accusations by Berbicians of the police “illegally” searching their homes.
“There are cases where people feel that their homes are violated by the police…while in some cases the police have the right to search, the people have no objections, but it’s the way it’s done…lack of courtesy and the use of expletives when carrying out these searches,” Kennard explained.
He said that during his visit to Berbice he also held discussions with a large number of ranks at the police training college, where he spoke about the role and functions of his office.
During these discussions, he highlighted areas of grave concerns, including the police’s use of excessive force and the wanton use of firearms.
The Former Chancellor also pointed to the vexing issue of the police’s detention of vehicles when there is no certifying officer to examine them, as well as the detention of persons beyond the statutory 72 hours, without permission from the competent authority.
Kennard announced that from the look of things, Berbice is second only to Region Four as the area that accounts for the most complaints against police ranks.
His next visit will be to Moruca.