Some criminal activities appear to have been politically influenced – Minister Benn

…says occurrence gravely worrying

Noting that continuous efforts are being made to improve the overall security in the country, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn has condemned the politicising of crime in Guyana.
He acknowledged that based on confidential intel, some criminal activities appear to have been politically influenced and he is urging for this to cease.
During a recent televised programme, Benn reiterated that political influence on criminal activities is an issue of grave concern.
“The issue we have otherwise is those who may have an interest in continuing and rejuvenating what occurred at a particular time where there were a nexus between politics and crime, and that is why we have been particularly worried about those who may want to resort to particular criminal acts … saying for instance arson,” he explained.
Benn further explained that over the past two years, a number of schools and Government buildings were destroyed by fire, with some being ruled as arson, which he believes was politically motivated.
“Much to our regret, it is challenging but we will build a new one, we will repair where we can, and we are working hard to put in the systems where we can assure vigilance, assertiveness, and prevention in relation to these issues… most of it has to do with awareness by the population that if we lose particular assets to fire or violence, everybody loses.”
Moreover, Minister Benn contended that it is unfair to the persons who pay taxes in Guyana for their money to be wasted unnecessarily.
He said those monies that are being wasted as a result of criminal activities can be used to invest in new projects that will benefit all Guyanese.
“Also too, persons who provide the support, because many people provide support if not in buildings, they provide support in communities, for schools by way of donations and other things, for the development for our infrastructure and the education of our people…”.
Speaking specifically on the issue of the 2021 fire that destroyed the Brickdam Police Station, the Minister highlighted that the Government is now forced to rebuild a new building when they would have preferred to make the investment elsewhere.
“We have to be on the watch and on guard all the time,” he said.
Just recently, the Guyana Fire Service said they have been making moves to curb occurrences of fire at Government-owned buildings. Fire Chief Gregory Wickham said that the GFS has noted the rise in fires, especially at schools, which is also worrying to the Fire Department.