In the face of mounting backlash, National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, is this afternoon clarifying his position that gave the impression in Parliament yesterday that judges will no longer be automatically assigned Close Protection Officers, or bodyguards.
Minister Bunting made the statement in the House of Representatives yesterday. And it’s drawn criticism from judges and lawyers.
In his statement yesterday, Minister Bunting omitted judges from the list of persons who’d be automatically assigned Close Protection Officers.
Minister Bunting was updating the Parliament on the decisions made in a recent review of the service.
Judges have reacted angrily, fearing that they could be exposed to criminals in carrying out their duties.
Some have said the move is unwise.
Minister Bunting yesterday said the assignment of Close Protection Officers would be done for others following an assessment of threat levels.
But, reacting this afternoon to the concerns of judges, Minister Bunting told Nationwide News that his statement was misunderstood.
He says the protocol governing the assignment of CPO’s for judges and magistrates will not be changed.
Minister Bunting reiterated the groups of persons who’re most likely to be affected by the new guidelines.
Minister Bunting was speaking with Nationwide News from Trinidad and Tobago where he’s on official government business.