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4 questioned, Police to conduct patrols at schools4 questioned, Police to conduct patrols at schools

first_imgSchool of Nations shooting/threats…Education Ministry to establish hotline…as cops seek external help to trace social media postAs the Guyana Police Force continues its investigation into threats made against School of the Nations and the subsequent shooting of its Director, Dr Brian O’Toole, several persons have been questioned by the Major Crimes Unit which is leading the probe.“We have embarked on an investigation…What I can say is that we have taken some action and we’ve contacted a few persons. There’re some others that we are pursuing and it’s an ongoing investigation… [So far] we have questioned at least four persons to my knowledge,” Police Commissioner Leslie James told reportersPolice Commissioner Leslie Jameson Wednesday.According to the Top Cop, those four persons were both current and former students of the private school. Nevertheless, he posited that investigators are making progress.“We’ve been having cooperation, so I can say it’s been a progressive investigation… It’s a matter where there will have to be eventually confrontation because of what is alleged so I’m sure it will result [in] some success, we are having some inroads,” he stated.While he opted not to say whether they were able to contact or apprehend the person who has been posting on social media, Commissioner James noted that the Force’s Cybercrime Unit has been playing an active role in the investigations and they have also enlisted the assistance of external help. He stated that these are all contributing to the progression of the probe.Further, the Top Cop noted that investigators are still trying to ascertain whether the threats against the school, which were posted on social media, is linked to the shooting of its director.“We have not seen [any relation between the two] but the fact that someone was shot and he is the principle of the said school, we have considered that it can be a link. However, when we spoke with Mr O’Toole, based on his description and his further explanation, so far it seem as though we’re looking for a different person,” the Commissioner stated.SafetyMeanwhile, as the investigation continues the incidents have caused an outpour of suggestions on what can be implemented to ensure the safety of students and teachers in the future.The Education Ministry has initiated to act on the seriousness of these events by engaging representatives of the institution and senior officials of the Guyana Police Force earlier this week. Commissioner James further revealed that coming out of that meeting is an agreement to boost security at the secondary schools – both private and public – in Georgetown. This includes regular patrols around the schools.On the other hand, action has been taken by the Ministry to introduce a “help hotline” to assist students who are challenged in the school environment. The Schools Welfare Department of the Ministry will also spearhead outreaches at popular locations where the presence of youths is concentrated.“The Ministry will be setting up a help hotline to assist children who are struggling with issues at school and elsewhere. Moreover, the Schools Welfare Department will be conducting regular outreaches at locations, such as malls, to meet the younger population with the view of addressing social and other issues affecting them,” the Ministry stated after consultations with the stakeholders.Training is now being provided to parents as well to address these issues along with the reinforcement of the Schools Support Unit.Through an anonymous social media account, the suspect has been communicating his plans and the extent to which students can be harmed. However, a recent post suggested that he was willing to cooperate with Police since many are involved in the plot.When contacted on Wednesday, an official posited that the school remains closed for this week and the administration is yet to decide on what next week holds.On Sunday night, the Director of Nations, Dr Brian O’Toole was shot at about 21:44h at his Prashad Nagar home. The 64-year-old man came home and secured his gate after entering. As he was about to open the door, a male suspect approached him, pointed a gun and discharged three rounds in his direction; two of which caught him in both forearms. His condition was listed as stable, but this instigated many concerns by parents about their children’s safety. They insisted that proper security measures should be implemented before the students return to the institution.last_img read more