For many months, there has been an ongoing public decry that the City Constabulary is short-staffed and cannot effectively carryout their duties. However, this reflects differently from the fraction of staffers that are used as bodyguards for present and former employees.
Currently, there are 191 officers employed to the City Constabulary with 67 auxiliary guards but according to Constable of the City Constabulary, Andrew Foo, the “requirement” is some 345 persons.
“Our authorised strength should be 345. We currently have 191 in terms of staff and 67 security guards.”
Out of the limited amount, eight were appointed to provide protection for the Mayor, Patricia Chase-Greene and four for the former Mayor, Hamilton Green. This figure does not include other members of the Council who are also provided with security.
The Chief Constable’s competence and control over the department which he presides was questioned on Wednesday at the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into City Hall’s operations.
“The former Mayor, Hamilton Green has one Lance Corporal and three security guards. The current Mayor has eight.” Puzzled as to why so many security personnel are needed, the Commissioner Justice Cecil Kennard replied, “This is ridiculous… Who would harm her? This is a wastage of money and that is why City Hall is bankrupted.”
Foo noted that he would have asked on a number of occasions for additional officers to be employed but it was the Council’s decision to assign these bodyguards to the respective City Hall associates.
Back in July, the Chief Constable would’ve indicated in an interview with this media group that there was a freeze in the hiring process since there weren’t enough financial resources to pay an increased workforce.
There has been an increase in robberies around Georgetown, especially at the Stabroek and Bourda Markets which are considered “criminal hotspots”.
In the midst of the bodyguard crisis, John Walters who is a bodyguard of Royston King was issued a firearm despite the fact that he does not possess a relevant licence or a supernumerary precept. Walters affirmed these allegations during his witness statement.
The CoI also heard, among other things, that no conclusive investigations were carried out for several activities at the Mayor and City Council (M&CC).