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Mould Contamination In Police Stations 'Still Not Addressed By Government'

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

THERE has been no success in trying to get the government to address reported mould contamination in police stations across New Providence, Police Staff Association (PSA) Chairman Dwight Smith said yesterday. 

Inspector Smith told The Tribune that the Christie administration has yet to deliver an "official response" to the association's pleas. He claimed further that instead of getting an answer from the government, the number of complaints that the government has not done anything has actually increased. 

In April, the Bahamas Prison Officers Association, lead by its president, Sgt Gregory Archer, said it supported Insp Smith and the PSA in its quest to protect its officers after the government failed to act on a mould report for more than a year and a half. 

Sgt Archer claimed that issues expressed by Insp Smith were, coincidentally, issues his association had been asking the government to correct for months, but to no avail. 

When questioned yesterday, Insp Smith said: "Officially there has been no response. We only hear a response when the media help us out by going and questioning those individuals. Then you would hear a response. There has been no response." 

In April, the PSA alleged that the government opted not to respond to mould reports despite knowing the health and wellbeing of officers were at risk after a report by Clear Solutions Plus, a cleaning company specialising in mould and mildew remediation, highlighted concerns for 25 police buildings. 

In that 2013 report, Clear Solutions Plus claimed that a "significant amount" of mould was discovered that required "prompt attention" to prevent severe allergic reactions among police officers and others who frequent the buildings. 

In April, State Minister of National Security Keith Bell told The Tribune that the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the government "would not deliberately expose any of its employees to such risks".

He added that he had to speak with his senior, National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage and Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade before he could say anything more. 

Insp Smith said yesterday: "If you ask me if any work has been carried out to those various stations, we have our welfare persons making checks. I (personally) haven't seen the work being done. We've still been getting more complaints that nothing has been done. There has been no response. 

"So definitely I really think that the disrespect needs to stop. It has nothing to do with politics, it's just respecting the individual."

In April, Bahamas Public Services Union President John Pinder criticised the government for not giving "prompt attention" to the issue. Mr Pinder said the government should focus on "protecting Bahamians" and not about their public perceptions. 

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