July 23, 2010

Parliamentary select committee on Defense and Interior, on Thursday expressed shock at the deplorable living conditions of the police at barracks of the Central Police Station in Accra.

The committee members wondered how the 240 police officers, both Junior and Senior, ranging from Constable to Inspector and their families of about five or more live in single room apartments.

This came to light when the committee led by Mr. Alfred Agbesi, Member for Ashaiman, paid a visit to the Accra Regional Central Police Station.

They were taken round by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Madam Rose Bio Atinga and Superintendent Sarpong Aboagye.

It was realized that due to the appalling situation in the tiny rooms, the police personnel have turned their kitchens into sleeping rooms with some of their belongings kept outside at the mercy of the weather.

The police administration have also made available a big hall known as “ reserve room” where about twenty police officers live and some pass the night on their verandas because of congestion in the one bedroom.

The toilets and bathrooms which are more of public Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pit(KVIP) and public bathrooms are nothing to write home about as the members who entered to see quickly rushed out.

DCOP, Atinga took members into the living rooms of some Inspectors for the committee members to have first hand knowledge of the problem.

She said the barracks was built during colonial time and was adequate and spacious enough to contain the 3,600 police in Accra so some of the officers stayed outside the barracks and reported for duty.

She said the lack of accommodation was affecting their ability to do guard duty as she noted that banks and “Forex” bureaux were springing up but their request for police services can not met due to the accommodation problems.

DCOP Atinga called on the members to fight for the police with regards to the accommodation.

At the police station, Superintendent Mr Sarpong Aboagye, told the team that the cell is for 50 inmates but the number had increased to 91 without any space for expansion.

Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Member for New Juaben, said the committee would report to Parliament for the necessary steps to ensure that the basic facilities needed by the security agencies were provided.

Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, Member for Afigyasi-Sekyere West, said concepts should be developed for the construction of two bedroom flats for the police and if necessary three bedrooms for them to live decently.

Mr. Daramani-Sakande Adamu, Member for Bawku Central, presented four emergency lamps to the police to facilitate their work during electricity blackout.

Source: GNA