Former Police Chief wants action on school security

Former Police Chief, Cuthbert Phillips, has asserted that something needs to be done about improving security at schools.

Phillips recalled that he has been making that point for years.

“Children can’t just see a watchman lying down in the place there – look at his attire; these places need a well-established security team,” the former Police Chief declared.

The former Police Commissioner said he has no doubt that adequate security could be provided.

Phillips also spoke of the need to improve security on the Island’s beaches.

He asserted that he did not know if a national security plan exists, but highlighted the need for one that would consider the national threat.

“I don’t expect that maybe anybody will come out and tell us, but at least there is a plan so that somebody can say ‘yes, we have a plan’” the former Police Chief declared.

He recalled that all the Islands had key and vulnerable points.

By way of example, Phillips mentioned the Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC).

“LUCELEC is a key point,” he noted, adding that the power company also represented an essential service.

He explained that a national security plan should address how to protect such institutions in a time of crisis.

In this regard Phillips noted that the role of the National Security Council was crucial.

“It is a powerful organization and that organization must function,” he declared.

Phillips noted that the council has the ability to co-ordinate all the other agencies that have to deal with security.

Cabinet gave its approval for the formation of the Council in January, 2013.

It is chaired by the Prime Minister and includes the Minister of National Security as Deputy Chairman, the Minister of Tourism, the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Police and the Cabinet Secretary – among others.

Phillips said he was sure that the new Minister of National Security, Hermangild Francis, would reactivate the body as soon as possible.