Police “ought not” to have entered Parliament – Top cop

first_img…says chambers still safe…despite “Santa”, singing woman breachesDays after approximately one dozen ranks of the Guyana Police Force had barged into the Parliament Chambers to remove Opposition Parliamentarian Juan Edghill, acting Police Commission David Ramnarine has stated that the ranks “ought not” to have been in the Chambers.In a statement on the recent events at Parliament, which has raised securityThe woman who invaded the National Assembly dressed as Santaconcerns among Parliamentarians, the acting Top Cop assured that security around the Public Buildings remains intact.In an attempt to physically remove Edghill from the Parliament Chambers, several of his colleague Opposition MPs were assaulted by the Policemen. A huge scuffle subsequently ensued between the ranks and the Opposition Parliamentarians, during which a few of the latter, including former Education and Human Services Minister Priya Manickchand, were punched and manhandled by male officers. Other female MPs were also manhandled.The ranks were then removed from the Chambers and, to date, it is unclear who had summoned the members of the GPF into the Chambers. Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, during a press conference on MondayThe undercover cops in the National Assembly on Wednesdayevening, denied calling in the police to remove the Opposition Parliamentarian.Moreover, the acting Top Cop has posited that while the presence of the Police ranks in the Chambers should not have happened, important lessons have been learnt from the incident.“(The) Police’s presence in the Chambers of Parliament, which ought not to have occurred, but it did, and important lessons have been learnt from such an unfortunate situation,” he noted.Ramnarine went onto say, “It would be good for as to contemplate that, in certainThe singing woman being escorted out of the Parliament Chambers by securitycircumstances, necessity knows no law.”Cops at media deskThis incident was followed by the presence of two plainclothes ranks sitting among journalists at the media desk in the Parliament Chambers on Wednesday. Their presence caused much anxiety not only amongst reporters, but parliamentarians as well.The acting Police Commissioner pointed out that those officers who found themselves “enjoying elite company” gave the distinct impression that the Police had not learnt anything from the previous incident, whereby a female dressed as Santa Claus invaded the Chambers while Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was making his contribution to the 2018 Budget Debates on last Friday.According to the Top Cop, the action of the two ranks further aggravated concerns of security breaches at Parliament.He said “…the two young plainclothes Policemen were not properly nor thoroughly briefed, and also did not follow the specific instructions given; for if they had, they would not have found themselves in the Chambers of Parliament.”To this end, the seniors of these two ranks have been “admonished and reprimanded,” Ramnarine said.Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs, had told reporters on Wednesday that permission was given to have two undercover officers from the Special Branch along with two uniformed female officers in the public gallery at every Sitting of the House. However, he noted that in addition to the officers not being permitted to sit at the press table, they were also improperly attired.Santa invasionMeanwhile, in regard to the Santa invasion incident, Ramnarine opined that it was nothing “more than just a prank”. He explained that the incident could not have been a security breach when enquires have found that the woman’s entry, regardless in whatever shape or form, was authorised.It was reported that the female is the personal assistant of a Government Minister.Singing womanFurthermore, the acting Top Cop asserted that Thursday’s incident, in which an attendee in the Chamber began singing immediately after the House Speaker announced the lunch break, was really nothing near a security breach, since the woman in question was permitted to enter the Public Viewing Gallery by security officials of Parliament Office Security.The woman, who gave her name as Natalie McLennan, was seated in the Parliamentary Chambers behind the Government Ministers. After Speaker Dr Barton Scotland had ended the morning’s session of consideration of the budget estimates, the woman started to sing “God is watching us”. She was immediately escorted out of the Chambers by security. The echo of her voice could be heard as she continued to sing the said song while being escorted out.Nevertheless, Ramnarine said the Police Force, in collaboration with Senior colleagues in Sister Services, has reviewed and enhanced security arrangements in and around Parliament, and is satisfied that the security of Parliament in these times is assured.However, he noted that law enforcement officials sometimes find themselves between a rock and a hard place; and in those situations, they have to contemplate, in a matter of seconds, the ‘dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t’ philosophy of preventive policing.last_img read more