Ombudsman Commission Commends Impressive Progress of the West New Britain Police Housing and Holding Cell Projects Nearing Completion

West New Britain Province (WNBP) is set to witness a significant overhaul of its police housing and holding cells thanks to the proactive intervention of the Ombudsman Commission. 

The construction and refurbishment of police housing and cell infrastructure facilities in WNBP is a successful outcome for the Ombudsman Commission to see government services delivered to the people of West New Britain. This development follows a series of meetings with Hon. Sasindran Muthuvel, Member of Parliament for West New Britain and Provincial Governor.

Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen was in the Province to inspect the progress of the new police infrastructure and took the time to meet with the Parliamentary Members of WNBP that included Talasea, Kandrian-Gloucester and Nakanai Districts from September 4 – 5 2023. 

During these meetings, the Ombudsman Commission reviewed the progress of funding support and commitments under various programs, including the Provincial Service Improvement Program, District Service Improvement Program, and other Constitutional Grants. The primary focus was on the construction and refurbishment of police housing and cell infrastructure facilities in Kimbe and the respective District Headquarters.

The Ombudsman Commission acknowledges the diligent efforts of Governor Muthuvel and his Provincial Administrative officers in overseeing the projects. These accomplishments include not only the completion of the WNBP police station but also ongoing work on police housing, which has seen the construction of 18 houses, and the development of new holding cells capable of accommodating 40 individuals (20 for male, 10 for female, and 10 for juveniles).

The Ombudsman Commission commends Governor Muthuvel’s leadership for the substantial progress achieved since the initial commitments were made during the Commission’s last meeting after receiving complaints of the deteriorating conditions of police holding cells, police stations and the deteriorating and overpopulated police staff houses in January 05th 2022. These efforts demonstrate a clear commitment to improving existing infrastructure and facilities that support law enforcement in WNBP.

Key highlights from the inspection visits include:

  1. Near Completion of Police Housing: The West New Britain Provincial Government, under the leadership of Governor Muthuvel, has committed K5 million and has successfully constructed 18 Steel Frame Police houses in Section 1 of Kimbe Town as part of the WNB Police Housing Projects. This initiative addresses the critical need for housing for police officers in the region.
  • Renovation and Improvement: Renovation and improvement works have been completed for the Kimbe Police Station. The Provincial Police Commander’s Office is yet to commence while the Holding Cells are nearing completion. These upgrades will enhance the overall functionality and effectiveness of law enforcement in the area.
  • Support for Correctional Institution: Continuous funding support has been provided for the construction and renovation of deteriorated staff houses at the Lakiemata Correctional Institution, demonstrating the WNBP Government’s commitment to improving conditions for correctional staff and inmates.

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