BYB A SPECIAL REPORTER
On a continuation of the Human and Constitutional Matters Standing Committee tour of detention centers around the Greater Banjul area, police officers had the opportunity explaining some of their most challenging issues to law makers without going through the command chain.
Some police stations are housed in private properties, and one of those kinds is the Kololi police station. The law makers were informed that apart from the tiny offices, and the unsuitable nature of a residential house turned into a police station, the station owes the landlord some arrears and the station faces threat of eviction.
Other burning issues that police officers raise as the law makers visit more stations, cells and other detention centers is the issue of food for prisoners.
Government’s food budget per prisoner per day is only five Dalasi (D5.00) law makers were informed at almost every police station.
“How can we feed our prisoners with only D5 for three square meals” one Officer Commanding said.
The committee members were told that in some police stations, they do not even have that D5, and all they do is deep their hands into their pockets to provide food for prisoners.
The lack of mobility is a cross cutting issues affecting all the police stations visited. Many Station officers and Officers Commanding the divisions complain of taking care of prisoners to health facilities should they fall sick, as there are no monies at their disposal to take care of the mobility in the absent of vehicles.
The cell conditions of some police stations are just not fit for human habitation. The Tallinding police station is one of those kinds. The station is located in a swampy area and has only two cells, conditions of which cells are poor. No proper ventilation and the cells are too close-fitting, observed by some officers.
Visiting the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) at the Serekunda station, the conditions of the cells are better and that according to the officers on the ground they are given D60 per person per day for feeding. This was better as far as the visiting law makers are concern as compared to only D5 per person per day.