A requirement that suspects obtain a certificate indicating they are free from Covid-19 before they are taken to prison remand is contributing to congestion in majority of police stations cells.

Police sources have said the situation is now hampering the arrest of new offenders.

Imenti North Police Boss Robinson Mboloi said suspects who are unable to raise bond are currently being remanded at police stations instead of being taken to prisons until they acquire the Covid-19 document.

The situation is affecting the number of new offenders who can be accommodated in police stations, forcing the law enforcers not to arrest some petty offenders.

Social distancing

Police station cells in Meru are currently holding a maximum of 30 male and 30 female suspects, down from about 100, due to the requirement to observe social distancing.

Some suspects at the police station which serves the populous Meru municipality are now being held in the court corridors near the station’s entrance.

In the neighbouring Imenti Central police division, officers are encouraging the issuance of affordable cash bail and bonds to suspects so as to decongest police cells.

Imenti Central Sub-County Police Commander John Tarus said they are ensuring cleanliness and social distancing after five suspects who were being held at Kariene Police Station tested positive for Covid-19.

“It is a major challenge but we are issuing bonds so that the suspects can attend court from home. Prisons are not admitting people without certificates to indicate that they are Covid-19 negative since one case can infect many inmates,” he said.

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