GPF uncertain about negotiator’s presence at Norton Street shoot-out

first_imgAlthough it is usual for a trained police negotiator to accompany other ranks who engage in a shoot-out to be present at the scene, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is uncertain if one was present last Thursday when three bandits were killed at Norton Street, Georgetown, during an exchange of gunfire with Police.Police Commissioner Leslie JamesDuring a press conference on Monday, Police Commissioner Leslie James was questioned on the rationale behind a negotiator showing up and explained, “We do have persons who are trained in negotiations and when you have such operations, that person goes along also with the team but almost all situations the negotiations are not necessary for them to engage”.Further, the Commissioner could not say if a negotiator was present at the shootout.“I will have to check… I don’t want to mislead anyone. I will have to check to confirm if a negotiator was there but I’m saying that usually when they have such reports we take action to have a negotiator on standby.”Asked whether or not it would be a breach of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to not have a negotiator on site, the Commissioner responded in the negative.He explained, “[It’s] not necessarily a breach. It is a call by the either the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, the Commissioner of Police, or the Divisional Commander or joint”.The Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Maxine Graham, who was at the event was unable to say whether a negotiator was on site that fateful night.On the other hand, the Commissioner informed that the Force is seeking to have ambulances on site to alleviate bodies being dumped in Police vans to be taken to the Hospital. However, he said, “We don’t want to give the perception that we have expectation of persons to be injured”.On Thursday, three bandits lost their lives during an hour-long exchange of gunfire with the police at Norton Street, Georgetown. The men had set out to rob a construction worker, Neville Lesley, moments after he had put his five-year-old son to bed.Reports are at about 20:00h, while the man was closing the doors to his Lot 46 Norton and Victor Streets home, he saw someone scaling the fence but by the time he reacted, he was held at gunpoint. The gunman demanded gold and cash as he took the man into the house. By that time, the two other gunmen also made their way into the man’s home, with each of them carrying a handgun.Hearing the commotion, the five-year-old child woke up and ran downstairs. “They tell me if I don’t keep me son quiet, they’d shoot me and meh son,” the man related.With the bandits distracted by the police presence, Lesley and his son managed to escape and hid in one of the bedrooms, where he removed the louvres in the window and lowered his son from the upper flat of the house.The child was safely collected by a police officer, and Lesley jumped through the window to safety. It was at this point that the shoot-out between the armed bandits and law enforcement commenced.According to information from residents in the area, two of the bandits were shot and appeared to be dead, while the third was also shot but surrendered to the police.last_img

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