National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, has urged the police to respond speedily when reports of domestic violence are made.
“All I am requesting of the police in the future is that when persons make calls to the police and inform that something is happening, some domestic violence is taking place, that they respond very quickly – that can save lives,”Francis, who is a former police officer told reporters Monday.
He made it clear that he was not saying that law enforcers have not been able to respond, but that he would like to see them do so in a more ‘open’ and ‘responsive’ way so that people know for a fact that if they do call for help, the police will come to their assistance.
The minister disclosed that he was perusing the domestic violence act to see whether it could be strengthened.
He said it is not true that only persons involved in a domestic dispute can summon the police to intervene.
“Anybody can make that intervention. The only thing that you need to increase is the power of the police – that the police can actually go into the house even if it is not the individual that is being abused that has made the report. As long as somebody gets credible evidence, they can walk in and remove that person from the house without a warrant,” Francis stated.
He suggested that there was a role for members of the public in helping to curb domestic violence.
“You see two persons quarreling you can intervene and ask them to cool out and behave themselves,” the minister asserted.
Francis indicated that domestic violence is not easy to deal with as it flares up in unexpected areas.
Earlier this month a Goodlands male, Cletus Edward, was stabbed to death at the home he shared with his girlfriend and their three children.
Leandra Pierre was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the death.
The couple were in an abusive relationship.
Anne Marie Edmunds, the step mother of the deceased, had told the Times that just the week before the fatal stabbing she had asked the police to assist the couple because of their stormy relationship, but was told that the two were the ones who had to make a report.