Security concerns over businesses operating in Post Office buildings
…PRO says nothing to be alarmed about
Security concerns have been raised with the establishment of a grocery store in the same building that houses the Skeldon Post Office on the Corentyne.
Kaieteur News visited the location on Monday afternoon just as the post office, located just next door, was closed for the day. However, the shop remained opened for business.
Sources close to the Skeldon Post Office have revealed to this newspaper that many in the area have questioned the presence of a shop being housed in the post office building. Also, questions have been raised about the safety and comfort of those employed in the post office since the grocery shop was opened last week for business.
“The post office is more hot now, since the breeze is being blocked from the shop that is operating nearby,” said the source. It was also stated that “people from the community troubling the employees asking them ‘that y’all open shop now’”.
The source went on to say that a grocery shop being housed in the same building as the post office is not a thoughtful idea, security- wise, since the high crime rate these days can result in the shop being a target for bandits. This was highlighted given the fact that the post office deals with large amounts of cash on a frequent basis, and the bandits would have a double-target in the same building and as such, the employees of the post office are at risk.
Kaieteur News contacted the shop owner, Bob Singh, who, when asked questions, became rather defensive. He stated that he was being leased the building by the Postmaster of the Skeldon Post Office for the past 2 1/2 to 3 years. He refused to say how much the building is being rented for and declined to answer any further questions.
When contacted, too, the Postmaster stated that “I really can’t talk to the press– I just work at the post office, so he (Bob Singh) can’t say I rented it (the building) to him”. He forwarded further queries to the Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Post Office Corporation, Yolaskee Jarvis, who, when contacted about the matter, said that she was fully aware of the building being rented to a private individual and that it is “quite normal” for the GPOC to rent, since the corporation has to generate its own revenues. “Many of our offices, we rent and we do have business entities operating in the building or adjoining the building, for example, Parika (Post Office), Bourda and our Head office in Georgetown.” She added that Skeldon Post Office has been rented for “a while” although the tenant did not occupy the building for some years, “they have been paying the rent for awhile but not occupying”.
“If they have opened a shop, they would have done so with our knowledge. It’s quite okay for a business entity to rent from us. Since the government gives us no subvention, we need to generate our own income and it’s quite okay for us to rent spaces to business entities.”
Speaking about safety concerns since the post office can be more a target for bandits, the PRO stated that “it’s quite legit and persons in the area need not be alarmed”.
“From experience, since we would have been operating entities like this throughout Guyana– in Bourda, we have quite a few business tenants from hairdressing to barbering; at Parika, sales and haberdashery and other items and these offices have not really been targeted…I can understand persons being concerned, but the necessary precautions would have to be taken and of course, the post office takes precautions to protect itself and they (the precautions) remain in place so business can continue as usual.”