Police query who is guarding the Prime Minister

Monday, June 13, 2016 - 20:00

A statement must be issued from the Office of the Prime Minister clearly indicating who is guarding Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Making the call was president of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association Insp Anand Ramesar.

Special Branch officers, detailed to guard Rowley, had complained of working long hours. 

Last Friday, Dr Rowley arrived at Parliament with a security team comprising Defence Force members.

Asked whether this was still the case Ramesar said, “I did make a preliminary enquiry into it and I understand members of the Defence Force are currently engaged in some form of duty with the Prime Minister and what we need at this point in time is some clear communication from the prime minister’s officer in relation to what is happening.

“We need to have that information so that our officers would know exactly what is their role and function.”

Ramesar also made it clear that Special Branch officers had no complaints against the Prime Minister but rather management in the Police Service including deployment of officers.

“The issue is being discussed out of context as if it is the Prime Minister to blame for what is happening and definitely that is not the situation.

“Somebody is trying to politicise it in the first instance when there is no effort, no evidence to suggest that this has anything to do from a political perspective,” Ramesar said.

He said Special Branch officers have also gone on record to say that they loved to work with Rowley. 

Officers have also denied claims that it was because of Rowley’s hectic schedule that they were overworked.

“This is an absolutely wrong analysis and at no point in time was that complaint brought to the association,” Ramesar said.

Following a meeting last week with acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, Ramesar said the matter was now settled.

He added that during that meeting Williams agreed that the officers schedule of working “24/24” did not allow them time to rest.

“This was also not the practice. The practice is 24 hours followed by 48 hours rest and the Commissioner ensured that this was returned to that particular position.

“When he also enquired into the matter there was a reduction in the manpower because a number of officers were on training. It is no longer an issue,” Ramesar said.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Geisha Kowlessar)

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