Former Prime Minister Sir James, on Tuesday, said that he was reliably informed that three Glock automatic pistols, an M4 rifle, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition are missing from the Georgetown Police Station.
The police, on Friday, announced that they had launched an investigation into the disappearance of firearms and ammunition from the station.
The statement gave no information about the type of firearms and number of rounds of ammunition, the time frame in which they are believed to have gone missing, nor when they were found missing.
And, on Tuesday, Commissioner of Police, Colin John, told iWitness News that he would neither confirm nor deny the former prime minister’s comments.
“We are following certain leads. Hopefully, we would be able to recover them and catch the perpetrator,” the police chief told iWitness News Tuesday evening, when asked about the investigation.
Speaking on Boom FM, earlier on Tuesday, Sir James, who was prime minister from 1984 to 2000, said that even though he is in Bequia, he gets a lot of information.
“I inquired about this one from an old police friend and he is in touch with the police because those old police in touch with each other in the same way old politicians in touch with each other.
“And I learned that over 1,000 rounds of ammunition have disappeared from the Georgetown Police Station and also three Glock automatic pistols are missing and an M4 rifle. Those are the facts as I got it.”
The former minister of national security said that the first question is “What is the system in place?
“I can tell you as a former minister of security, weapons being held at a police station in excess of say, a single arm, has to be in an armoury, no matter how small. And it has to be in a location with two locks, held by different police in the station.”
Sir James said he did not know if that rule has changed, adding that his information is that the weapons and ammunition were taken from the top floor of the three-story police station.
“How does someone get to the top floor without going through the people at the desk and so on?” Sir James said.
“And that armoury is supposed to have two locks and two different keys. And even when a policeman is going on leave, and somebody is relieving him, he is supposed to be turning over his key to that person. So no one person has access to the weapons in a police station”
Sir James said he had heard that police officers have been moved since the disappearance of the firearms and ammunition.
“I hear there have been some transfers but, again, can the police investigate the police? All these are the problems that we are facing in this country.”
The former prime minister said that the management of the police station would come into question.
“And the management always go back to the head. It goes towards the commissioner of police and the minister of national security.
“The minister of national security is the one who is there elected to protect the people from misuse of weapons and misuse of guns. Are these guns going to be used to shoot the police? Or are they going to be used to shoot the citizens?
“It comes right back to the climate of fear in the country and fear of people in their own homes and then the fear in regard to equal opportunity in our society,” Sir James said.
On Monday, the Serious Offences Court heard that two pairs of slippers and a gold chain, which are exhibits in a robbery case, are also missing from the Georgetown Police Station.