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Police to help beef up security for opposition coalition

The opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC)  and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) have agreed to help beef up security for its Presidential and Prime Ministerial candidates and a number of locations during the campaign, officials said.

Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud did not provide details of the security arrangements but confirmed that the law enforcement agency and the coalition agreed to a number of measures at their meeting on Monday. “They were told that that their internal arrangements would be supported by the Force and that the Force’s provision of additional security will be based on intelligence,” he told Demerara Waves Online News. He added that the coalition’s team reported on internal security arrangements that the opposition was making.

Co- Campaign Manager, Retired Lt. Col. Joseph Harmon told Demerara Waves Online News that the arrangements would include the police force assisting in the training of armed body protection personnel after they would have received security clearance. “We will identify people for that purpose and they will help us in ensuring they are properly trained, that they will approve of us (using) body protection vests, they have agreed to accelerate the acquisition of things like that for us,” he said.

Harmon said the security arrangements would include visits by patrols to the residences of presidential candidate, David Granger, his prime ministerial running mate, Moses Nagamootooo and the leadership of the coalition. “It was a positive meeting and we have already started to see some action being taken based on our conversation,” he said.

The coalition said in a statement that “APNU+AFC team made it clear that the security situation in the country required the provision of strong security by the GPF for the Coalition’s Presidential and Prime Ministerial Candidates. The security of campaign offices, major rallies and party elections officials were also discussed.”

Also representing the coalition at the meeting with the Police Commissioner and his senior management team were AFC Co-campaign chairman, Raphael Trotman as well as Retired Police Commissioner, Winston Felix , Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Paul Slowe and AFC General Secretary, David Patterson.

Trotman told Demerara Waves Online News that “security will be provided to VIPs based on threat assessment which is under review daily.”

According to the coalition in its statement, the Commissioner and his team briefed the Coalition team on the Guyana Police Force’s pre and post elections security arrangements. “The Commissioner gave the APNU+AFC team the assurance that the GPF was well prepared for any eventualities.

The Police executive management team said that they were prepared to cooperate fully with campaign personnel nation-wide and made available to the APNU+AFC team the contact information of all Divisional Commanders,” the coalition added.

The policy regarding the holding of public meetings was also discussed and assurances given to the Coalition that once applications were received in a timely manner, the GPF would embrace the principle of granting permission, according to the APNU+AFC statement.