THE death threat made against National Security and Home Affairs Minister, Hermangild Francis, via a hand written letter may not have rattled him but that does not mean he has dismissed it altogether.
The Minister told The VOICE he will be taking certain steps to protect himself, which he will take to Cabinet for perusal.
Francis did not detail what those steps would be but noted that they may fall within the same category of protection the State provides for judges and magistrates.
Despite not being flustered by the contents of the letter, which he read for the first time on Tuesday despite it being on his desk for about two weeks, he is nevertheless concerned about the safety of his wife and children.
Francis said that since the threat revelation, he has become concerned about his wife and children, especially when he is not around to protect them.
The former Deputy Police Commissioner said he will not be seeking police protection, such as having a police detail escorting him wherever he goes
“I am not going to utilize police officers. We need all the police officers on the streets. I am not going to do that,” Francis said, noting that such threats often come with the job.
His predecessor, Victor La Corbiniere, also revealed such a threat made against him during his time in office.
The threats may come with the territory, but that does not mean they should be ignored, a point Francis concurred with, saying that the threat should be taken seriously. He said he must be doing something as Minister that may have someone or a group nervous.
“When you do get those sort of threats, it is because you are doing something to somebody or some group and they feel intimidated and will try to react and say things about you or do things to scare you,” Francis said.
The letter containing the death threat came as regular mail to Francis’ office two weeks ago. Because it was addressed to him and showed no indication of coming from a government department or outside authoritative body, it being just a plain envelope with Francis’ name on it and a local stamp, his secretary viewed it as personal mail and handed it to him without opening it.
Francis said he placed the unopened evelope on his desk with the intention of opening it immediately. However, his attention was drawn elsewhere and the envelope was forgotten.
The Minister travelled out of the country and returned, still unaware of the envelope sitting on his desk. He saw it on Tuesday this week in the exact same spot he first placeD it, while he was clearing his desk, he said.
The alarm was immediately raised and police are now in possession of the letter and are investigating the matter.
“This really did not come as a surprise,” Francis said, referring to the threat. “The matter is in police hands and they are taking it very seriously. They are taking it more seriously than I am.”