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Kisii County adopts mobile courts programme to decongest cells

Kisii County, in partnership with the Judiciary, is planning to launch mobile court services as part of the county’s efforts to decongest prison cells and contain the spread of coronavirus in the region.

Addressing the press at his office in Kisii town, Kisii County Police Commander Francis Kooli said that some of the police stations were not built to accommodate a high number of prisoners and therefore, the mobile courts will come in handy to prevent overcrowding.

“We will engage our counterparts from the Judiciary to enable us to arrest those flouting Covid-19 rules and charge them at the mobile courts so that they don’t have to be taken to the courts and spread Covid there,” said Kooli.

The Police Commander also said they had increased their visibility in overcrowded areas where residents were highly likely to forget to wear their masks and practise social distancing.

“We will erect tents for police officers to prepare files for those flouting Covid-19 rules and if the courts decide to assign you farm work outside the cells, you will have no choice but to do it,” Kooli added.

He noted that police officers had increased patrols in the region since the Prisons Department was already overwhelmed by offenders who were remanded earlier and were still under the 14 days’ guidelines given by the court.

Kooli said the police had managed to arrest 270 citizens and 17 motor vehicles over the past weekend for failing to adhere to the Ministry of Health guidelines and flouting curfew rules.

He cautioned residents against boarding vehicles that were already full and said that they will not hesitate to arrest any excess passengers found in public service vehicles.

“We do not put on the masks because of the police, but for our own safety. We need to stand and be counted by protecting each other through minimizing activities in overcrowded spaces such as burials and churches in order to save lives,” Kooli urged.

By Mercy Osongo

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