Victims of robberies and other crimes are still concerned that a key element in a US government report that was published since late 2016, is seemingly being overlooked by the administration as it relates to the successful prosecutions of major criminal matters.
The 2016 report, which can be download from HERE, and which was published by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had painted a picture which insinuated that the Guyana Police Force has failed to solve most of the crimes that the police are claiming that they had solved.
In other words, while the police were able to charge a person for a crime, and claim that the crime was solved because of the charge, a subsequent trial would often show that there is not sufficient evidence to actually pin the charged person to the crime, much more to obtain a conviction.
As a result, the same case that the police had labeled as solved a few months before, would often unravel something different whenever the matter goes to trial; – resulting in the accused person walking free.
The recent rise in robberies and other crimes, but their resulting dismissal in the courts for insufficient evidence etc have since caused a number of victims to vent their frustration on social media, and even within the environs of the court itself.
For them, their experiences are more than enough to give the prosecution-failure numbers mentioned in the report the credence that it would have required.
Describing the Guyana Police Force as the least trusted institution in the country, the report had specifically outline that Guyanese police are usually unable to garner successful prosecution in 90% (9 out of 10) of all major criminal cases that they would have brought to the court.
The (perceived) poor investigative and prosecution skills of the police were said to be the root cause of these failures.
It did not mention any specific cases or any additional pertinent information since it was more of a summary report which also dealt with a number of other issues in Guyana.
As a matter of fact, the report in its entirety was previously published by various sections of the local press, but had seemingly focused on other issues that the report had also highlighted.
Nonetheless, the prosecution’s failure mention within the report and current trends within the court system seem to have resuscitated public concerns as to whether or not the Police actually conducts a proper investigation or gather enough incriminating evidence before rushing to charge a person for a crime, especially those crimes without clear-cut witnesses or evidential particulars.
At least this is the question that was being asked by a handful of distressed persons with whom the Guyana Guardian had recently spoken to, within the precincts of the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court
Even so, the Guyana Police Force still relies heavily on a police legal adviser and the Director of Public Prosecutions, who are well learned legal minds, to aid its investigators in their efforts to build their cases, strong enough to secure a conviction.
But even with all of that help, observers are wondering what can possibly be the reason for the level of failure being witnessed by persons known to them, and as outlined in the report.
For them, a 90% prosecution failure rate is more than enough to provoke a further loss of the public’s confidence in the police force’s ability to properly investigate and effectively prosecute.
For others, a 9 out of 10 prosecution failure rate, is like no successful prosecution at all.