Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Health inspection finds Hanover lock-up unsatisfactory

Published:Monday | January 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller

WESTERN BUREAU:

As was the case with the lock-up at the Freeport Police Station, in Montego Bay, St James, recently, health officials in Hanover have declared the parish's main lock-up in Lucea to be in an unsatisfactory condition and have ordered that the faults be corrected within 30 days.

According to Dr Marcia Graham, the medical officer of health for Hanover, a copy of the report, which was generated following an inspection of the cells at the Haughton Court-based facility, has been given to the police, showing the various breaches and timelines that have been given to have the situation remedied.

"The health officers visited the facility on January 11, 2017, and, based on the prescribed form which they use to carry out the inspection, a number of items were not up to a satisfactory level," the Graham said.

Graham said the police hierarchy was given different timelines, varying from 14 to 30 days, to correct the breaches identified.

FOLLOW-UP VISIT

She added that a follow-up visit would be carried out this week, to see if anything has been done regarding the matter.

The inspection of the lock-up was carried out at the request of Devon Brown, the councillor for the Hopewell division in the Hanover Municipal Corporation.

Brown voiced his concern at the last regular meeting of the corporation, claiming he has been informed about unsanitary conditions existing at the lock-up.

The Haughton Court, Lucea, lock-up facility is the only one in Hanover being used to hold males arrested or detained in the parish. The police post in the town square is used for female detainees, while a facility in the district of Kingsvale in the parish is reserved for holding juveniles.

Graham noted that there is a procedure to follow regarding the inspection and recommendations for correction of breaches within such facilities, and that her department would be doing all that is necessary within the laid out guidelines.

Earlier this month, the St James Health Authority ordered the closure of the Freeport Police Station and carried out fumigation exercises designed to address various health concerns. They have since given the green light for the re-opening of the cells.