Take Control of the Rise of Crime in Prisons – Dery to IGP, Prisons DG
Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery has directed the Inspector General of Police Asante Apeatu and the Director General of Ghana Prisons, Patrick Darko Missah to work together and devise security strategies that will curb the high rise of crimes in various Prions across the country.
“If we have criminal kingpins in there and still controlling their groups outside, it is a thing that we need to work on so I will be directing the IGP and the Director General of Prisons to work together to make sure that we come out with measures, equipment and arrangements that will make sure that we stop it.”
The pronouncement by the Interior Minister follows revelations by the Deputy Director of Prisons in Charge of Eastern region Command, DDP Isaac Kofi Egyir, that there are syndicates increasingly aiding the smuggling of contraband items and drugs into the Prison through intricate means difficult to be detected by mere physical inspection.
“Contraband goods such as mobile phones, unprescribed drugs, narcotics sneak into the yard all because we lack the requisite gadgets to aid our manual surveillance that we use. Now they have become so sophisticated that just mere physical inspection and searches do not survive the task. For example, it is very common to apprehend visitors with narcotics rapped in a factory sealed Mackerel, Milo and some even the ladies especially in cosset and those well-endowed, under their body (vagina and breast).
“And our inmates also for example those who go to court, he wants to visit the gents by the time you realize he arranges and go and insert all these prohibited substances and it is very difficult to inspect orifices because it is against universal human rights of inmates.”
According to the Deputy Director of Prisons, it will require the provision of crime detection supporting equipment and strong collaboration with the Police to help stop this disturbing crime menace.
The Interior Minister described the revelation as a serious security issue that he will deal with in earnest.
“If activities within the prisons indicates that infact although they are confined they are still actively involved in criminal activities, it is a thing that we must take very seriously. I have taken your request seriously, we are going to work on getting Close Circuit Television to assist in the surveillance within prisons”.
He, however, chastised prison officers who collude with the inmates to perpetuate crime.
“Your Prison officers need to be professional. The fact remains that some of your officers are colluding and are getting tips from these prisoners.”
Currently the Prison Population in the Eastern Region is 4,590 out of which 3,419 representing 73.5% are in Nsawam Prisons.
There are 456 foreigners made up of 209 Nigerians incarcerated in the Prisons in the region.
The top three category of inmates are armed robbers (1,381), Narcotics (441) and Murder (435).