Recent spate of fires an obvious threat to law and order – PSC

– condemns calls to create havoc by outside forces

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) is of the view that the recent spate of fires which have destroyed public buildings across Georgetown is an obvious threat to the maintenance of law and order in Guyana and is calling on the Government to protect the nation.
In a statement on Friday, the PSC expressed concerns over these constant fires which it said seem to be targeting certain institutions. It was referring to the fire that destroyed most of the Brickdam Police Station last month and the one which erupted on Saturday last at the building which houses the Guyana Police Force’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
“Most concerning is the fact that these fires are being directed against institutions which form part of the architecture of civility and law and order; firstly, at the Police Headquarters at Brickdam and now, most recently, in the Eve Leary Police Compound,” the PSC said in its missive.

The destroyed OPR building

The Private Sector body further highlighted commentaries from well-known political activists who are not in Guyana but are encouraging and promoting terrorist activities here.
According to the Commission, “These calls, notably, have included the deliberate setting of fires to create instability in an attempt to make the country ungovernable. These public calls must be condemned by every right-minded citizen. In these circumstances, we urge our government to act swiftly and condignly to utilise all the facilities at its disposal, to protect against this threat to the country’s safety and well-being.”
The PSC contended that Guyana’s prosperous future requires a stable national environment, free from any intent to incite fear and terror aimed at not only destabilising the country but also bringing down the current Government by criminal means.

The Brickdam Police Station on fire last month

Last month’s fire at the Brickdam Police Station saw approximately 80 per cent of that facility being destroyed. Days later the Guyana Police Force said a prisoner was reportedly behind the blaze. It was reported that the man allegedly “grew frustrated” after being detained for several hours hence he decided to set fire to the building, which is also the Headquarters for the Force’s Regional Police Division 4 A (Georgetown) and housed the Divisional Commander’s office.
Meanwhile, last Saturday’s fire destroyed the building that housed the OPR and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) office in the Eve Leary Compound, where the GPF headquarters is located. The building was also being used as the Force’s barrack and its Carpentry Division.
The blaze started on the western side of the building, where the barracks, carpentry unit and OPR were located, and destroyed half of it. While the section that housed the DPP Chambers was saved from the fire, it had extensive water-damage.
Efforts have since been made to relocate these offices. Ranks who were in the barracks (living quarters) were questioned but the cause of the fire has not been reported.
But at the scene on Saturday, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn told reporters that Guyana seems to be experiencing a “trial by fire.” He too had raised concerns about persons overseas inciting such destructive acts.
“It appears that a subliminal message is being put around the country starting from some pyrotechnic-minded person in the United States. And that maybe, perhaps, much more than likely that the incidents we see and the timings at which they occur are related to those more than subliminal messages about Georgetown will burn if the PPP don’t do whatever,” Minister Benn had stated.