THE Zambia Police has a deficit of 10, 936 housing units across the country, says Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja.
The Police chief said the Police only had 6,500 houses against 17,436 police officers across the country, thereby bringing the shortfall of housing units to 10, 936.
Mr Kanganja said most of the officers were renting private accommodation, making it difficult for mobilization during emergencies.
He said some stations were operating in rented buildings while others were using infrastructure belonging to other Government departments and were not suitable for police work, hence the need to construct enough office and residential accommodation for police officers across the country.
The police chief said this on Wednesday when he addressed officers on the major challenges which the Zambia Police was facing.
And Mr Kanganja said police officers countrywide were owed in excess of K65 million in terms of other personal emoluments which include leave travel benefits, commutation, funeral grants among others.
“The money is budgeted for but funds are not released. Therefore this matter needs to be addressed urgently,” he said.
Mr Kanganja said the current staffing levels which stood at 17, 436 was not sufficient to police the country in consonant with expectations of the citizens of Zambia and other stakeholders.
“It maybe be helpful to realise that the population of Zambia is spread across the geographical area measuring 752, 618 square kilometres and currently it is projected to be about 15 million. These citizens require quality police services for them to feel secure and effectively participate in social and economic development of the country,” he said.
Mr Kanganja said there was need to increase the strength of the police in order to meet the ideal international policing standards ratio of 1:500 police to the community.
He further said the budget allocation was inadequate for the Zambia Police to effectively and efficiently execute its mandate, hence the need to increase the budget.
Mr Kanganja said the police also had a poor state of infrastructure, adding that most of the police buildings were constructed before and immediately after independence, and was either dilapidated or obsolete.
He said in most camps and police stations, the water and sewer system had completely collapsed and needed complete overhaul.
“As such the funds were required to rehabilitate rundown infrastructure and construct modern police stations and houses,” Mr Kanganja said.
The police chief said the three training institutions namely Lilayi Police Training School, Paramilitary and School of Public Order Maintenance were currently in a deplorable state.
Mr Kanganja said the institutions had inadequate hostel accommodation and classrooms to support the training of officers, making the environment for training of recruits and in-service training for serving officers not conducive.
“There is need to rehabilitate existing infrastructure and construct new hostels and lecture theatres,” he said.