Report into murder at Government House complete

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday that he expects to receive a report into the murder of a Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marine at Government House by the end of the month.

In April 2019, RBDF Petty Officer Philip Perpall was killed while on duty at Government House.

Dames then appointed four retired law enforcement officers to review and determine whether there were any breaches or failures in security at Government House during the morning of the incident.

“The review committee has the full backing of the government of The Bahamas and are being mandated to conduct their investigations over the next two months, after which they will report their findings to be communicated to the Bahamian public,” Dames said in May 2019.

Dames said the committee’s main objective will be to make recommendations for improvements.

Outside Cabinet yesterday, Dames said, “I am happy to report that they would have completed the printing of their report.

“So, I expect probably within the next week or two, that they would formally present that report to me.”

RBDF Able Seaman Jevon Seymour was charged with Perpall’s murder.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Dames said he had asked then-RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel to look into the security of other buildings the RBDF protects.

Yesterday, Dames said his ministry has completed that report and he hopes to release it soon.

“We promised that we would have put together a policy on the protection of government buildings,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, I had a meeting on that just yesterday. We have a policy, I presented something to Cabinet earlier this year and so, we’re ready.”

The national security minister referenced government buildings in the United States and how “you just can’t walk in”.

“We have to get serious about the way we do things and we have to get professional,” he said.

“We must put structures in place. That’s what we like to do. We like to research, look at the best way forward and put the polices together. Now that you have the foundation, you will see a noticeable change.”

Heavy security changes have been made at the new building housing the Ministry of National Security and, according to Dames, those changes will be put in place at the Office of the Prime Minister and a number of other government buildings.

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