Despite a spate of recent fires with many of them being blamed on arson, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn told the National Assembly on Thursday that the prevalence of fires is actually on the decline in the country.
On the issue of the fire that gutted the Brickdam Police station, the Minister said it was arson and he rejected calls by the Opposition for an independent probe.
“Here it is they want inquiries into the arson of the Brickdam Police station which has forced us to spend in the beginning, as a first tranche, $400m new multi-story modern facility, we wish we would hve that $400M to spend on other things in the country for security rather than have now to build that facility, but we will do it,” Benn said.
A man who was being held in the lock-ups for suspicion of armed robbery was later charged with setting the fire. He has denied the claim
Turning his attention to the security situation in the country, the Home Affairs Minister said serious crimes are on the decline and the country’s security situation is on a firm footing.
“In spite of all that has been said in Guyana, serious crime has been reduced by 20%, the instance of fires has been reduced by 30%, what is different now is that there are arson attacks on government buildings, particularly police stations,” Benn said
Additionally, the Home Affairs Minister said for the first time in more than 16 years, the country saw less than 100 road deaths in a single year.
As it relates to Narco-trafficking, he said the fight to intercept illegal drugs, as well as illegal firearms, has been intensified.
He announced that there will be a new initiative called ‘Increasing the Peace in Guyana’ which will target persons leaving prisons and re-entering society.
Minister Benn said the programme will see prisoners being fully reformed before they re-enter society.