Caribbean officers to undertake domestic violence and sexual offences training

Date: Friday, April 8, 2011

It is expected that the law enforcement response to gender-based violence reports will be strengthened for several countries as selected officers embark on a two week internship programme with the Ottawa (Canada) Police Services Department.

The training programme forms part of the cooperation developed between the Barbados-based UN WOMEN Caribbean office, the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police and the Ottawa Police Services Department under the UN WOMEN Strengthening State Accountability and Community Action to End Gender Based Violence’ Project which seeks to support the justice and security sectors and the non-governmental sector in their efforts to reduce violence against women.

The 10 from Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be in Ottawa from 11-22 April 2011.

The officers will undergo training in the Management of Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence which include a focus on sexual and intimate partner assault, legal issues around domestic violence; the judicial response, victim support and domestic violence investigation procedures.

Gender-based violence continues to be a serious threat to the life and safety of women and girls in the region and undermines the stability and harmony of our societies as statistics show that that all Caribbean countries have higher than the global averages for rape and that on average 1 in 3 women experience domestic violence as well as the telling impact on our young men.

The training represents the second phase of the project which seeks to address the gaps and strengthen police and prosecutorial management of sexual offences and domestic violence cases.

In the project’s first phase, baseline country reports highlighting the policing and prosecutorial response to gender based violence were completed for each territory and presented to regional Police Commissioners, Directors of Public Prosecutions and other key stakeholders.

Other elements of the project include the development of National Action Plans and Protocols as has been approved in Belize in May 2010.

The participating officers are:

Antigua and Barbuda:
Senior Sargeant Colin Hope (Jr)
Police Constable Karim King

Belize:
LeRoy Hernandez, Constable, Police Department

Grenada:
Corporal Maureen John - Community Relations Department

Guyana:
Superintendent Yvette Sancho
Inspector Ingred Abrams

Jamaica:
DSP Gloria Davis-Simpson*
Det. Sgt. Hemford Wade*
The candidates are representatives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offense and Child Abuse (CISOCA) (a unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force).

St Kitts and Nevis:
Constable Lindita Powell

St Vincent:
Assistant Superintendent of Police Jonathan Nicholls