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Acting Pm 'Should Have Had' Security - And Nottage Says Police Responsible

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Dr Bernard Nottage

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

DEPUTY Prime Minister “Brave” Davis should have had increased security, according to Prime Minister Perry Christie, who said that in hindsight the government is now considering heightened police coverage for officials.

Yesterday, National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage clarified that police were ultimately responsible for any decision to increase security detail for government ministers.

In the aftermath of the armed attack on then acting Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis and his wife, Anne Marie, Dr Nottage said changes to security detail would come upon recommendation from the police.

“The deputy prime minister ought to have had security, in hindsight the answer is yes, he should have. When former Deputy’s acted, it never occurred, it never came up, right now the Minister of National Security, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Attorney General, because of the nature of their positions, they have security detail assigned to them, but none at night, that’s only for the Governor General or the Prime Minister not even former PM.”

“They all have security, but those people go home at night only the prime minister and the governor general in their position have people 24 hours,” he said.

Their comments follow claims by Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade that police were not responsible for making the final decision on static guard duty for ministers, and could not be faulted for their absence during the incident.

Yesterday, Dr Nottage said: “The protection of government officials is the responsibility of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“Obviously the assessment of statesmen security wouldn’t be up to politicians. We will have to depend on information from the security agency, the police, to tell us what risks there are and what they regard as the measures that are necessary to be taken to minimize that risk. We would again have to approve that activity, but the evaluation of what is needed clearly would be expected from the Commissioner of Police and his men.”

Dr Nottage refused to confirm whether or not such a recommendation had been made by the police force, adding that he would not openly discuss matters of national security.

At a press conference last week, Mr Greenslade explained that his department could not take the blame for the absence of police officers at the Davis’ home at Westridge when the armed robbery occurred.

According to National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage, police aides “had not arrived to work yet” when the armed thugs drove up to Mr Davis’ residence, accosted his chauffeur and held the deputy prime minister and his family at gunpoint on December 9.

Despite stating that he would not be defensive on the issue, Mr Greenslade said it was “not the responsibility of police authorities to ensure that the then-acting prime minister was assigned an armed security detail”, adding that police could not be “held accountable for something that is certainly not within its purview”. 

Mr Greenslade said: “As a Commissioner of Police, I understand that the police is the anvil upon which society beats out their frustration.

“Someone has to be blamed. If the Commissioner is an easy target then you take a shot at the Commissioner. The Commissioner is not going to be defensive.”

He said: “When you speak to the issue of 24-hour coverage, we refer to that as static guard duties at a residence, those are issues that are handled at a much higher level.

“No fault can be found in this instance with the police department.”

Yesterday, Dr Nottage explained that static guards have traditionally been reserved for the prime minister, adding that he was surprised by public commentary calling for heightened security given the traditional sentiment from Bahamians that politicians have too many privileges.

Dr Nottage said: “The decision about whether security is required is made by the professionals and that is the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Now when the resources have to be provided that matter might be referred to either myself as Minister of National Security or the prime minister but we’re not security specialists, we’re politicians. If it is referred to us that there is a certain level of security is needed then we would have to approve or not approve it.”

Mr Christie added: “We are looking at it now, it is something we have to do. Happily it very much appears that [Davis’ armed robber] was a happenstance kind of thing, where they were just looking for someone to rob, a home to go into and they did not realize what they were doing. But everything in process, we have to be relentless in our assault on criminals in our country. We cannot compromise on that.”

Comments

B_I_D___ 6 years, 7 months ago

Of course the police are responsible...are the security teams that are assigned to the PM...and in this case should have been assigned to the DPM police officers, or a private security firm...is the RBPF not responsible for manning those security details...YES...so of course they are responsible. 110%. For them to even come out a couple days ago and say it was NOT their responsibility, is ludicrous.

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realfreethinker 6 years, 7 months ago

There is a clear division between the COP and the political directorate. They are publicly blaming each other this is not good for the country. It is obvious they are not on the same page DANDEROUS

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 7 months ago

Stupid story about who's to blame.. Who's in charge, the PM, then DPM... They control the Police and Defense force so they are responsible for the security detail around them. If they thought it was inadequate they could administratively order it changed.. The fact is they never think it will happen to them, he wrote of what happened to his body gaurd as nothing because he was not there and the area he was in.. They think crime is for the peasants..

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 7 months ago

**Yesterday, Dr Nottage said: “The protection of government officials is the responsibility of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“Obviously the assessment of statesmen security wouldn’t be up to politicians. *"

Exactly what is Dr Nottages responsibility?...I'm not saying this is his fault, but why does he keep saying it's somebody else's fault..isn't his position oversight of the police force and the defence force? Does he know the meaning of leadership?

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 7 months ago

ThisisOurs, it would interesting if whoever is responsible is defined in the law & non of them read it before comment..

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The_Oracle 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm still more curious about the $100,000 they were robbed of! Is that the amount I read? Crazy, wonder what that was for? Church? I'm in the wrong business!

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B_I_D___ 6 years, 7 months ago

Nah...defense force only protects illegal poachers and inbound Haitian sloops...

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