Jan 28, 2022 News
– $400M allocated to rebuild Brickdam Police Station
Kaieteur News – The government has budgeted some $47.9B to boost public safety and security here, $400M of which will be used to rebuild the Brickdam Police Station which was gutted by fire last year.
Some $2.5B has also been proposed to expand the Safe City Programme outside of the city, with more CCTV cameras to be installed countrywide.
Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh made these announcements on Wednesday during his 2022 budget presentation. Singh said the $47.9B allocation will be used “towards ensuring the restoration and preservation of law and order at all levels in our society”.
He noted that his government’s aim is to create an environment for citizens, the business community, investors and visitors, to feel confident that they and their properties are being protected. The government believes that one of the ways it can achieve this goal is by increasing the deployment of resources in all Police Regional Divisions. Out of the $47.9B allocated for the sector, some $4.9B is expected to strengthen the assets of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
According to Singh, one of the ways that his government would like to strengthen the Force’s assets is by commencing works on a multi-story building to consolidate the operations of the Brickdam Police Station that was flattened by fire in October 2021. For the construction of such a building, some $400M has been allocated in the 2022 budget.
Additionally, the government wants to spend some $2.5B to expand its Safe City Programme outside of the city. This involves countrywide installment of CCTV cameras that will be monitored centrally and at Regional Command Centres to be established soon. Some of the $2.5B will also be used to buy satellite phones and more body cameras for the force.
Singh added that $99M was also allocated in this year’s budget to support Community Policing Groups (CPG), which has proven to be very effective in fighting crime, especially in rural and hinterland communities. The government also wants to spend $120M for payments to local and international educational institutions to train police ranks in crime and traffic management.
As it relates to the Guyana Prison Service (GPS), Singh announced, that in addition to the $2B that was spent last year on prison infrastructure, another $2.3B will be needed to continue this initiative.
The $2B spent, according to Singh, was mainly for the completion of the first block at the Mazaruni Prison and to initiate the construction of three prison blocks at the Lusignan Prison. Singh went on to explain that his government would like to have an additional $2.3B which is for the continuance of works at the Lusignan Prison and to transform it into a “modern facility” that will house male and female prisoners. The “modern facility” is said to include a vocational school, an infirmary annex, a prison headquarters and a command centre.
The Senior Minister responsible for finance noted too that, construction is currently ongoing on a second prison block at the Mazaruni Prison. Singh continued that his government does not want illiterate inmates and plans to invest $88.9M to train 1400 of them in areas of anger management, literacy, tailoring, etc.
In order to enhance the Guyana Fire Service’ (GFS) firefighting capabilities, the government has budgeted an additional $100M to install more fire hydrants. Last year, some $140M was spent to install 139 new fire hydrants in housing areas and to repair 51.
The government also plans to spend $508M to continue works at GFS headquarters at D’Urban Park, located on Homestretch Avenue and a fire station at Ogle on the East Coast of Demerara. Part of this money, according to Singh, will also be spent on Fire Station at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara and the construction of facilities at New Amsterdam, Berbice, Region Six.
Singh noted too that an additional $49.1M was budgeted for repairs and maintenance of fire stations countrywide. He stated that $255 million will be needed as well for the procurement of a hydraulic platform to bolster Guyana’s firefighting capabilities along with water bowsers, ambulances and all terrain firefighting vehicles.
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