In what appears to be a swipe at those who’re clamouring over the conditions under which persons are being detained in the State of Public Emergency in St James, Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, says members of the police force have been grappling with the substandard state of lock-ups long before the special security measure took effect.
The Police Commissioner’s comment comes a week after Public Defender, Arlene Harrison-Henry, told Parliament’s Internal and External Affairs Committee that the detainees are being held in conditions that breach their human rights.
In her report to Parliament last week, the Public Defender noted that there was overcrowding, outbreak of diseases and poor nutrition at the detention centre in the parish. But, the Police Commissioner is questioning where was the outcry when the police had to deal with poor conditions on a daily basis.
Commissioner Anderson is insisting that the poor conditions highlighted by the Public Defender is a thing of the past.
Major General Antony Anderson says the authorities have moved detainees from the Barnett Street lock up to the Freeport Police lock up. He says only 200 people are presently detained under the States of Public Emergency in St James, St Catherine North and sections of the Corporate Area.
The Police Commissioner says he accepts that the conditions aren’t perfect. But, he says people’s right to life supercedes everything else.