Public relations consultant alleges police abuse
Stabroek News
July 7, 2002

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A citizen has alleged abuse at the hands of ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and accused them of acting like rogues instead of defenders of the public.

Public Relations consultant Parvatee Persaud-Edwards said she was still reeling from the conduct of a party of policemen who had gone to the home of her son-in-law Mark Benschop for whom a wanted bulletin was issued. According to Edwards the ranks were abusive to her, uttered threatening statements and on one occasion poked the nuzzle of one of their weapons into her back, even as she cooperated with them.

Contacted on the issue yesterday, acting Police Commissioner, Floyd McDonald advised Edwards to approach the Office of Professional Responsibility headed by Assistant Commissioner Fredrick Wills tomorrow to lodge a formal complaint.

Relating the events which led to the confrontation, Edwards stated that she had gone to the home, shared by her daughter Maria, Benschop and their infant son, at Laluni Street Queenstown where she spent Thursday and Friday nights, during which time a party of police visited the home enquiring of the whereabouts of Benschop.

Recognising the anxiety of both her daughter and grandson she told her brother-in-law to take them out of the home for a while as she stayed behind to attend to a couple of household chores. However, she said, she inadvertently locked a grill door leading into the apartment, locking herself inside.

Coincidentally, a white land cruiser which she recognised as one which had visited the home before arrived at the premises and police ranks descended on the home demanding to know the whereabouts of Benschop.

After she explained her calamity, she said, the ranks decided to sprawl the grill door through which two slimly built of their colleagues entered the premises and commenced a search.

After searching every square inch of the apartment and seeing for themselves that Benschop was not there as they had been told, they decided to leave, but attempted to take the television personality's video camera. Edwards said she objected, questioning their motive for taking the item from the premises when they had only requested Benschop.

The ranks she stated became hostile and made several threats.

After realising that she was sticking to her guns they decided to leave but made further threats.

According to Persaud-Edwards, she has lost faith in the police and it would be difficult for them to find a champion of their cause in her.

While condemning their conduct she urged them to adopt the same courage which they use to threaten helpless persons in their homes towards capturing the criminals on the rampage in society.