Probe launched into ‘unauthorised’ police escort of SUVs’

Commissioner of Police Leslie James has confirmed that a probe has been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding how a businessman was able to have three of his vehicles escorted by police vehicles from Georgetown to West Demerara on Sunday morning.

From all indications, the escort appears to be ‘unauthorised’. The three heavily tinted Sport Utility Vehicles were being escorted by two police cars, one to the front and one to the back, at approximately 10:00 hrs on Sunday morning. The vehicle (SUVs’) also had affixed to them, flashing blue and red lights and sirens.

“The force has spoke on this issue of blue and red lights being used by vehicles other than emergency vehicles and i am not aware of any escort” Commissioner of Police Leslie James who is celebrating his birthday told BIG Smith Crime Watch when contacted earlier this morning. In a subsequent, telephone call, the commissioner noted that indeed an escort was conducted and efforts were being made to get to the bottom of who sanctioned it among other things. The Commissioner promised to have the matter looked at thoroughly and promise to provide an update on the matter as the information becomes clear.

Commissioner of Police Leslie James

Up to noon today, few senior officers who can sanction escorts either at the administrative level of divisional level were unaware of the escort or were either contactable and those who were contacted could not  definitively say under whose instructions the escort orders, if any were given.

Ironically, as the vehicles were passing Vreed-En-Hoop the loud sirens speed and dust, did caught the attention of a senior police officer who was in the vicinity at the time and observed by our news team even as other motorists took evasive measures to avoid any collision.

“I don’t even know what just happened there, I look at the speed they coming through with also, I really don’t know what i just saw there” the senior officer stated when called by BIG Smith Crime Watch shortly after the escort passed.

Asked if he he had any knowledge of the persons being escorted or the escort being sanctioned by the force, the officer responded in the negative but advised that checks be made with the Divisional Commander or Force Deputy Commissioner Operations.

Contacted on Sunday morning, Divisional Commander Senior Superintendent Edmond Cooper said that he was not aware of the escort and clarified that he is sure that ranks from his division were not detailed to perform any form of escort on Sunday. Several efforts to make contact with Deputy Commissioner Operations Maxine Graham under whose direct responsibility the force’s fleet of vehicles fall, were unsuccessful.

According to the Traffic Chief when contacted on Sunday, he too said he was not aware of the escort. However shortly after the commissioner spoke with BIG Smith Crime Watch, The Traffic Chief called to say that he has since gotten the name of one of the rank who supposedly conducted the the escort and certain instructions were given for that rank even as efforts to locate the occupant(s) of the other police car which was part oft he escort were being made

The Guyana Police Force in March of this year issued a statement where it called on persons within the security sector to desist from using sirens and blue and red flashing lights while pointing to the the road traffic order made under section 49 that specifies clearly, what are emergency vehicles.

“Approved police vehicle carrying a lamp, showing to the front an amber light and sounding continually a bell, gong or siren, It also covers vehicles of the Fire Service, which carry pumps, trailers or other vehicles of this category and includes any vehicle carrying a lamp showing an amber light and sounding continually a bell, gong or siren, in which any member of the Guyana Fire Service is being conveyed to any fire or suspected fire.” the police release stated a few weeks ago.

The police had also called on all owners of security services and other persons who are “guilty of having such equipment attached to their vehicles, to have them removed or face the consequences of being prosecuted”

BIG Smith Crime watch was informed that the vehicles which were being escorted on Sunday are said to be associated with a city businessman, involved in the gold trading business.


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