Some passengers traveling with the Essequibo ferry service feel threatened by the decision of the Guyana Prison Service and Guyana Police Force to have prisoners sit with civilians when being transported to and from court in Region Two.
On Friday last, prisoners were placed in seats with civilians. Passengers related that the prisoners entered the boat with cuffs on their feet and were placed to sit next to civilians. This caused much concern among some passengers as they view this move as a “security risk”.
Some passengers suggested that a section on the ferry be reserved for the prisoners when they are being transported to and from court for trials. They have even suggested that Prison Service provide special vehicles –police or river taxis – to transport prisoners, or even have that area barred off.
Divisional Commander for Region Two and Essequibo Islands, Kevin Adonis when contracted said there is no “lock-up cell” in the boat to keep prisoners, as such they have to be placed with civilians. He however sought to assure that prisoners are usually escorted by armed policemen, and that civilians should be wise not to sit next to prisoners.
When contacted, a supervisor of Transport and Harbours Department explained that prisoners could be placed upstairs of the ferry, away from civilians.
Asked whether this proposal was ever done by the Guyana Prison Service, the supervisor said “no.”
Passengers have since suggested that prisoners should be placed away from passengers for security reasons and the matter should be dealt with in a responsible manner.