Police officials have accused the Antigua and Barbuda Bar Association (ABBA) of attempting to associate a three-year-old video with current bathroom conditions at St John’s Police Station.
In a release, the law enforcement agency said it was “deeply concerned” about the action of the ABBA and sought to assure the public “that the facilities at the station are cleaned and sanitised regularly by janitorial staff. Additionally, the administration has also contracted the services of a water trucking company to further power wash and clean the bathrooms twice weekly”.
The missive was in response to a December 4 letter which the ABBA penned to Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney, and referred to “the attached video dated 3rd December, 2020”.
“We are sure that, after viewing the video, you will come to the conclusion that the condition of the facilities is absolutely disgusting and totally unacceptable.
“These outrageous conditions are liable to cause infection and breed disease. Persons detained and/or arrested, and held at the station, are entitled to basic human rights, which include regularly cleaned sanitary facilities for bathing and relieving themselves,” the letter stated.
Pointing out that members of the bar who interact with clients being held at the station as well as police officers are at risk of contracting infection and disease, the association also called for the immediate cleaning of the facilities.
It also demanded “an immediate investigation into the condition of the bathroom and toilet facilities to include whether this is the norm at the station, and recommendations for a permanent solution to this awful situation”.
Meanwhile, the police noted that it was instructive to highlight “deliberate acts of vandalism” by detainees, whilst in police custody, such as toilet facilities being “purposely misused, and plumbing fixtures damaged; notwithstanding the numerous repairs carried out by the Ministry of Works”.
“While it can be said further improvement is needed at the over a century-old building, remarks made by the association are rather unfortunate and misleading.
“The administrative staff at St John’s Police Station will continue to provide the best possible service to the public, including those in custody,” the police said, adding that they remain open to dialogue on any matter concerning the public, and ask for the continued support and cooperation of all.