Davis ‘no expert’ on national security, Dames says
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames yesterday dismissed concerns raised by Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Davis regarding the recent murder of a defense force marine at Government House, insisting that Davis is “no expert” in giving advice on national security.
“Last time I checked they were the government about two years ago,” Dames told reporters outside Cabinet.
“What have they done?
“As I said before, we have been taking measures to ensure that we put a permanent fix in place, to ensure that Bahamians as well as visitors alike are safe.
“The leader of the opposition now has become an expert on security, but, during their tenure two years ago, we had the bloodiest period in the history of this country.
“So he is no expert in giving advice in that regard.”
On Monday, Davis questioned whether there were sufficient guards on duty at Government House on Sunday morning when Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Petty Officer Philip Perpall was killed in the guard room.
Police said a man entered the compound shortly before 3 a.m., made his way to the guard room where Perpall and four other people were and killed the marine.
Davis said, “There is no doubt that the security was breached, and the question we have to ask is whether or not, since this administration regime took office, whether there has been any tweaking or directives relating to the security of government premises and buildings, and in particular persons in high office, have been altered by any of their interventions…in the protection of these institutions and personnel.”
Dames said he directed RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel to assess key government structures throughout the country and apply whatever resources are needed.
“Immediately following that incident I would have met with the commissioner of police as well as the commodore of the defense force,” Dames said.
“The defense force has the responsibility for the protection of all government buildings.
“I directed the commodore, with immediate effect, to do an immediate assessment of key government structures throughout the country and apply whatever resources are needed to ensure that we don’t have a recurrence of an incident like this again.
“He would have already taken some action and so as he works on that, he and his team, we will work on getting a formal document out in relation to security across the country at government buildings and important sites.”
Dames added that he has a team working on a policy in relation to security on government buildings.
Asked yesterday whether RBDF marines will be moved from key areas in order to beef up security at government buildings, Dames said, “During our discussions on this and our planning we’ve been talking about taking a tiered approach.
“For example, when you look at a place like Government House, for far too long the security focus has been relatively the same.
“But as I said, we are living in a different world now. We see what is taking place around us on a daily basis and so we have to ensure that we bring our security measures up to address any kind of challenges that we anticipate.”
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications