Juveniles escape into Essequibo backlands


A total of 13 juveniles are now on the run having escaped from the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), a juvenile holding centre on the Essequibo Coast, Police have confirmed.

The facility is commonly referred to as the “boys and girls” school.

Based on information received, 10 escaped Thursday afternoon as they were carrying out chores in the compound, while another three made their escape before dawn on Friday.

According to reports, the students were doing chores in the compound when they ran to the western side of the compound, which is not fenced, into the bushes and escaped into the backlands.

They are: a 17-year-old girl from Mahdia who was serving a two-year sentence for wandering; a 16-year-old girl from Bartica who was serving a two-year sentence for wandering;  a 15- year-old girl of Vigilance serving an 18-month sentence for simple larceny; a 16-year-old from Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara, serving a three-year sentence for wandering, a 16-year-old from No. 10 village serving a  two-year sentence for wandering, a 15-year-old from Westbury Village, Essequibo Coast, serving  a one-year sentence for simple larceny, a 17-year-old of Lethem serving a 15-month sentence for burglary, a 16-year-old of 19 Tucville serving a 22-month sentence for wandering, a 16-year-old of New Amsterdam, Berbice, serving a 21-month sentence for attempting to commit a felony and a 16-year-old from Buxton, East Coast Demerara, serving a 3-year sentence for Possession Of Firearm.

The administrator and staff member carried out a search, but could not find the escapees.

Then just about 04:45h on Friday, an additional three inmates, all males, escaped. Two of them are from Berbice and the other from Lethem.

In July 2017, the operation of the NOC was transferred from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Social Protection, with the government saying the institution’s purpose is to prepare and train juveniles for reintegration into society.

The NOC caters to children between the ages of 12 and 17 and most of those enlisted have been sentenced for the offence of wandering.

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