THE October 2021 fire at the Brickdam Police Station destroyed equipment, vehicles and other items totalling some $104.3 million, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn has revealed.
Minister Benn made this disclosure in a written statement that was submitted to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The statement was in response to a question posed by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Geeta Chandan-Edmond. She had asked the minister to provide the National Assembly with a detailed breakdown of the equipment, vehicles, documents and other items that were completely or partially destroyed in the fire.
Minister Benn, in his response, provided a detailed breakdown including the unit cost, total cost and quantities of all 79 items that were listed as destroyed as a result of the fire.
The total damages amounted to $104,391,200 with the highest cost being $10.75 million for 43 complete computer sets. However, the document did not specify the cost of the buildings that were damaged in the fire.
Among the other items destroyed were CCTV systems valued $2.4 million, handcuffs valued $1.56 million, laptop computers amounting to $5 million, body cameras valued $2.5 million and some $7.2 million for copy machines. Also listed as destroyed are 30 air conditioning valued at $9.6 million, 228 office chairs valued $6.48 million, $2.1 million in video surveillance systems and a $4.5 million minibus.
The Brickdam Police Station, which housed the Guyana Police Force’s Regional Division 4 ‘A’ Headquarters, went up in flames on October 2, 2021. More than 80 per cent of the structures in the compound was destroyed.
It was later revealed that the fire, which began in the fraud department which was located on the second floor of the administrative building, was the result of arson. Subsequently, Clarence Greene, 26, who was a prisoner in the lockups at the time of the blaze, was charged for the crime.
Minister Benn had announced, in December 2021, that a modern 11-storey police station will be constructed at the location. A $400 million allocation for this project was included in the 2022 National Budget.