Passage of Supplementary Appropriation Bill gives boost to crime fighting

─More vehicles for police

Government’s crime fighting strategy has been given a major boost with the approval of $225 million to provide a full complement of vehicles to the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

The sum was approved as part of a larger $475.7 million budget for the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, M.P, said “we intend to purchase vehicles, and of course this is to enhance operation response crime fighting throughout the country. And as I said, it has arrived at a point where we have the full or almost full coverage of vehicles that we need, the full complement for police force operations.”

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, M.P.

He stated that the ministry is yet to source the vehicles and is still scouting for suppliers. Minister Benn noted that the vehicles to be purchased should be of the same caliber of those purchased earlier in the year.

“Once we have the approval, we will go through the procurement methods but [because] we have participated before, we want to maintain the same type of vehicles which we recently acquired earlier in the year, so we don’t have difficulties in maintenance and fleet management for the total complement or most of the total complement.”

The $225 million will be used to purchase 50 vehicles, adding to the 50 bought and delivered in September.

At the presentation ceremony earlier in September, His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali had urged police officers to exercise due care when using the vehicles.

The President’s encouragement came after it was realised in August 2020, that only 39 of the 140 vehicles donated by the People’s Republic of China, were operable.

Meanwhile, $150 million was approved for the provision of additional resources to purchase an aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle with ICAO requirements. The vehicle will be placed at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, to negate any fiery disaster.

“For Ogle Airport, which is an international Airport, we’re getting one firefighting asset fully funded by this $150 million. Ogle is the busiest Airport in Guyana, we have now larger aircraft landing at Ogle. So, that is why we are making the effort,” Minister Benn pointed out.

Additionally, $100,700,000 has been approved to acquire additional resources for the installation of fire hydrants in housing schemes.

Minister Benn told the Committee of Supply of the National Assembly, that the Ministry of Home Affairs is partnering with the Ministry of Housing and Water, to install fire hydrants in the new housing schemes being established.

He noted that they are currently working together to place hydrants in the new schemes in Diamond and Eccles, East Bank Demerara and in Vreed-en-hoop and Parika, West Coast Demerara.

Meanwhile, some $40 million is being used to repair fire hydrants in and around the city.

Minister Benn disclosed that 50 of over 600 hydrants have already been repaired.

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