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20.05.2005 Crime & Punishment

Police cells in Tema are in deplorable state

By Ghanaian Chronicle.

Ten police cells in Tema and its surround communities are in a deplorable condition, with smelly toilet and bathrooms.

According to the 2005 Cell Inspection report released by the Tema regional office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Thursday says the cells are Communities Four and Eight, Tema New Town, Ashaiman Central, Kpone, Prampram, Old Ningo, Sakumono, and New Ningo.

The report, signed by the acting regional director, Mrs. Joyce Boahen, also says four other police cells namely; Communities One and Two, Main Harbour and the Fishing Harbour were found to be in good sanitary conditions.

The reports says the cells in good condition had large tiled bathrooms with showers and pipe borne water and closets, as well as good ventilation. It also had no stench and it is spacious enough to accommodate between 15 and 20 inmates.

Three others, Community 18, Ashaiman north (Lebanon) and Ashaiman Divisional Headquarters had no cells at all. The CHRAJ team, during its investigation, visited 17 police stations in all.

The most deplorable among the 10 cells are Ashaiman Central, Communities four and eight, Tema New Town, and New Ningo, which according to the report cannot be classified as police cells, and recommended that either they renovate, expand or close them down.

Besides being congested, the Ashaiman Central police cell has very stenchy toilet and bath facilities, while most of the inmates sleep on the bare floor.

According to the report, at the time of the visit of the CHRAJ team to the Ashaiman Police station, the cell, which housed 28 inmates, could sometimes take in 84 inmates.

The reports say 2,225 crimes involving rape and defilement were recorded between January 2005 to date.

The report recommended that the Ashaiman Central police station be relocated, Tema New Town police station be expanded and rehabilitated, while the Community eight (8) and the New Ningo police cell closed down.

Furthermore, the report recommended the establishment of a juvenile cell or a borstal home within Tema to help reform juveniles who commit crimes rather than allow them to mix up with hardened criminals.

The report touched also on the poor accommodation facilities of police personnel and recommended their improvement, rehabilitation or expansion where necessary.

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