Over 450 short-listed for CWC security training
By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
December 22, 2006

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The Security Sub-Committee of the CWC Local Organising Committee (LOC) is currently in the process of identifying persons to undergo training in February and March next year for safety and security at the Providence Stadium, East Bank Demerara.

The head of that sub-committee Paul Slowe told the media at the LOC Office in Middle Street yesterday that the sub-committee has already short-listed 470 private security personnel and 100 members of the Guyana Police Force to undergo training.

He said while the ICC CWC requirement is for 300 persons to be certified for the world's third largest sporting event, the committee thought it prudent to train a larger number of persons to be able to have a reserve should some person/s fall ill or not be available on match days.

"We don't want to find ourselves in that position where we train the minimum and then there is a shortfall on match days," he said.

Training would be done for the Guyanese security personnel as well as those from the other eight host venues and Dominica by a United Kingdom security firm, which would also be required to certify that the personnel would have successfully completed training.

Speaking of security issues and to correct some misinterpretations of the level of security preparations for the CWC 2007 carried in an editorial in the Stabroek News earlier this week, Slowe said that security issues on match days, and at the national and regional levels should not be mixed up.

He contended that Guyana was well rated in its security preparations. Noting that the level of preparations were colour-coded to give an indication of whether preparations were good or unsatisfactory and ranged from red at the lowest tier to yellow, then blue and green the highest level, Slowe said Guyana's latest security ratings indicated that various aspects were between blue and green. He said there was one area that was yellow - the fence around the stadium.

The main function of the Security Sub-Committee, Slowe explained is ensuring that certain security measures are put in place for the teams, officials, media and sponsors (TOMS) and the committee was well on stream in ensuring that those measures were in place.

He said plans are already being implemented for the safety and security at the stadium and just a few weeks ago three safety officers successfully completed a programme in Jamaica. The next mandatory training to ensure there are 300 security personnel would be conducted here from February 26, 2007 to March 2, 2007 by the UK-based security firm.

Slowe said also that match day security should not be confused with national security for which there is a national security plan which has identified roles for several security agencies among others. National security plans, he said, were not only specific to Guyana. Each host venue had to come up with a security plan which was forwarded to the regional implementing body, Caricom Operations, Planning and Coordinating Staff (COPACS) which was required to put together a regional plan.

Slowe said that based on the national security plans COPACS found deficiencies in a number of areas and this included the absence of skills and expertise in counter terrorism and the need for help in establishing chemical, biological, radio-active and nuclear capabilities.

He said that it was not true that Guyana and the Caribbean were only now discovering these deficiencies. It was because of this need, he said, that Caricom established the International Security Assistant Group (ISAG) which is tasked with interacting with the developing countries to see what assistance is available.

The ISAG has approached the international community with a schedule which clearly indicates the kinds of specialist assistance that the international community could provide at the regional and international levels and "not the assistance to police the stadium or the country as some people would think," he said.

Apart from the requirement to train 300 persons to work at the stadium, Slowe said, the Guyana Police Force was conscious of the fact that there would be general policing arrangements that must be undertaken simultaneously and these would include tourist resorts and entertainment spots.