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20.08.2004 General News

14 cops share one room

By Graphic
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Typical of the situation prevailing in many police cells, a single room, which under normal circumstances should have catered for one person, has to be shared by 14 newly-recruited policemen posted to Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region.

This came to light when the Graphic followed up a reader's letter to Nkawkaw on Wednesday. In view of this sad situation, the young policemen had resorted to sleeping in turns on student mattresses, since it was practically impossible for all of them to sleep at the same time.

While one group of about six took their rest, others sat on their chop boxes on a small veranda in front of the room awaiting their turn.

Their female counterparts, numbering three, who could be described as “more comfortable,” are, however, putting up in another single room in the same house.The rooms were offered to the Nkawkaw Police by Nana Yaw Frimpong, the chief of Nkawkaw, as a transit lodge for the newly-posted policemen, but had become their residence ever since.

When this reporter visited the premises on Wednesday, a number of suitcases and men's clothings had occupied about half of the room, while the student mattresses had been spread on the remaining part of the floor, making the room to have extremely poor ventilation.

Like the practice by students in a deprived secondary school, the chop boxes, footwear, towels and some kitchenware of the policemen had been packed on the short wall of the veranda.In an interview with the landlord, he confirmed that he offered his two rooms free of charge because of the limited time the offer was supposed to lapse.

According to him, the men, who were originally four, were supposed to lodge in his house for two weeks. However, on the expiration of the time, 12 more persons, including the women, were added to the number. This, he said, compelled him to release another room specifically for the women.

He said he was not interested in any money from the police administration as rent but indicated that it was not healthy for all the 14 men to be in that single room with their belongings.When contacted, the Nkawkaw District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Christopher Klomegah, confirmed the story and indicated that the present barracks could not accommodate all the men.

He said the district was facing acute accommodation problems for its men, even before the new ones arrived. According to him, the police administration had given a directive to all servicemen facing accommodation problems to look for private accomodation for the service to pay the rents.

He said he had, therefore, passed on the information to the newly-posted policemen at Nkawkaw with the assurance that whoever found such a place would be given the necessary assistance.

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