Station shuts as cell runs out of food


THE Popondetta police station in Northern was closed yesterday and officers will not respond to public complaints because there is no money to feed prisoners in the cell, provincial police commander Chief Inspector Lincoln Gerari says.
Gerari told The National that the shortage of funding has been a problem since beginning of this year.
“I made contact with police headquarters and I was informed that there were cash flow problems in the department,” he said.
“We have closed the doors as of today (yesterday) because we are unable to feed the prisoners and we cannot get any more into the cell.”
Gerari said more than 30 prisoners, some of whom were being held for very serious offenses including murder and rape, would not be released to the community for the safety of the public.
But deputy police commissioner Jim Andrews said Gerari did not have any authority to close the station.
He said the funding problem was not an excuse to close the station and deny the people their right to services.
Andrews said he would send the Southern divisional commander to Popondetta to check the situation.
Gerari said detainees held for minor offences were released.
He said a court of law would decide their cases, however, police were in a desperate situation because the prisoners have not been fed.
“The prisoners were not fed the whole weekend.”
Gerari called on the Government to intervene because they could not keep the hungry prisoners in the cell for too long.

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