The Guyana Police Force yesterday said it is investigating a breach of the fence at the Rose Hall Town Outpost and Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan has rejected reports that it was an attempt by bandits to storm the building and steal weapons.
“I don’t know where this rumour started… but it is absolutely nothing of the sort,” Ramjattan told Stabroek News yesterday and cautioned reporters to avoid causing unnecessary panic.
“It was absolutely nothing of the sort. I spoke to Paul Williams [Police Crime Chief] and he indicated nothing of the sort,” he added.
Police Public Relations Officer, Jairam Ramlakhan in a statement issued approximately an hour after a story to this effect was posted by online news agency, Newsroom, said “The Administration of the Force wishes to indicate that (there was) no such attempt to storm the police station, save and except that a person or persons unknown cut a hole in the fence which was discovered by an armed policeman on duty.”
“The insinuations are viewed as exceedingly and outrageously reckless and designed to create unnecessary discomfort,” the statement added. It further said that “the reporter should take caution not to contribute to an unnecessary state of affairs.”
Williams last night informed this newspaper that both he and the acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine were briefed on the security breach at the outpost by the Divisional Commander Lyndon Alves. He noted that at no time was it conveyed that bandits stormed or attempted to storm the station.
“We were told that the compound sentry was conducting his periodical checks for the morning when he … saw a hole in the fence, which was unusual and that is what was reported,” Williams said last night.
He explained that the rank also stated that he did not see any person in the area during his search. The discovery was made sometime around 1.30 am.
Yesterday, Alves told reporters that it is alarming to law enforcement that persons would attempt to commit a crime on a security facility.
“It is a concern for the management of this division and the police force…” he said.
Alves related that “the ranks were on alert, having been privy to some information as it relates to the said attack and there were systems that were put in place to thwart (a) person or persons unknown.”
The Berbice Divisional Commander noted that at the time of the discovery of the security breach, the station had an “adequate amount of officers to effectively protect the station and assets therein.”
This newspaper was told by a police rank in Berbice that cops there received information about a planned criminal scheme and were placed on alert.
The source said that it was because ranks were put on alert that periodic checks were made around the outpost and its environs.
“We have received word of this scheme but we were well prepared,” the source said.
While police said no shots were fired, residents close to the area reported that they heard explosive sounds, which they suspected to be gunshots.
Last night, this newspaper was told that the perimeter of the station was heavily secured.
Ramjattan explained that the security measures at the outpost would have been put in place to control the volume of persons who would want to go to the station and enquire about the report. He said that since the news report a number of persons have been flocking the station to ascertain if it was true and have expressed fear.
It is to this end that he cautioned that reports which have the propensity to cause mass fear and panic be thoroughly verified before publishing.