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Regional News Tue, 23 Jul 2013

Police react to Graphic story on accommodation

The Ghana Police Service has stated that it had never hidden the fact that it is beset with accommodation challenges, which it has, over the years, been making efforts to ameliorate.

Reacting to the front page story of the Saturday, July 13, 2013 edition of the Daily Graphic, which featured the accommodation challenges facing some police personnel in the Central Region, the Police Administration said it wished to explain the issue for the benefit of the public.

In a release issued in Accra, the service explained that the “workshop” as referred to in the story was a place that was converted into a temporary transit quarters in 2009, to accommodate newly passed-out personnel as it looked for permanent accommodation for them.

It said the recent security requirement of the country had come with the rise in personnel strength, which was exacerbating the problem of accommodation, adding that over the years various efforts, including allocation of housing units to the police by the government, had been made to house personnel of the service.

The release mentioned the following as some of the measures put in place by the government and the Police Administration to contain the situation.

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“The Police Administration has made continuous effort to rent accommodation (known in police parlance as rented quarters) for many policemen and women, who do not get places at official police barracks.”

The service has built transit quarters (Post Recruit Dormitories) in most of the regional capitals to temporarily accommodate personnel before they get their permanent postings and subsequently, permanent places of abode. Some of the quarters are in Kumasi, Ho, Tamale, Koforidua, Accra, Bawku and other places.

In another instance, the Ghana Police Service pays rent allowances, as a matter of government policy, to personnel who rent their own accommodation. This policy also serves as a drive to get some police personnel to live in the communities as part of the Community Policing Concept”.

According to the release, “in extreme cases, some service facilities are renovated and converted into decent places to house personnel temporarily, while we continue to seek permanent accommodation solution with the support of the government for them.

An example is the Cape Coast case reported by the paper, where the “workshop” has been renovated, painted, fitted with windows and ceiling fans, with places of convenience provided since 2009, to serve as a holding place (transit quarters) for new police officers.

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As shown in the pictures, the release contended that the situation was not a case of personnel putting up in the facility in the midst of the disorderliness associated with a typical workshop.

Over the past couple of years, the government has completed and handed over to the service 17 out of the 38 stalled accommodation projects for use, the release said.

The release stressed that while the government continued to explore avenues to solve the accommodation problem permanently for the service, the Police Administration would also continue to seek the welfare and interest of its personnel by providing them with decent places to lay their heads as an interim measure.

Meanwhile, we are calling on municipal and district assemblies, corporate organisations, and other stakeholders to support the Police Administration in this direction to enable the police to provide the security we all desire”, it concluded.

Source: Graphic.com.gh