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General News of Friday, 30 August 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Arming MTTD officers useful but more structural changes needed – Kwesi Aning

A security analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning has lauded plans by the Police hierarchy to arm personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service in the wake of recent attacks on personnel.

He however adds that the police service must also undertake a more thorough structural change to addressing the increasing spate of attacks against its officers.

His comment is in response to an order by the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery to the acting Inspector General of Police, James Oppong-Boanuh to arm officers on road traffic duties.

Dr. Aning in an interview on Eyewitness News said the police service has several challenges most of which are structural and is reflective in the conduct of some of its officers on the road.

He said the causes of such developments must be checked to ensure public confidence and support for the police.

“What is happening with attacks against police officers in their stations and infrastructure go beyond the behaviour of individual criminals or criminal gangs. Society’s fabric is tearing apart…. Police officers have a right to life. They have the right to perform their function in a secure environment in which they are provided with the tools necessary for delivering the service for which they have been mandated,” he said.

He cautioned that “what we are seeing will continue,” if the drastic structural changes are not made.

“We need a broader conversation than body cams, arms for traffic controllers, more vehicles, more Motorolas, possibly a helicopter. Those things are useful, but there are more fundamental, structural difficulties in the institutional culture.”

He cited among other things that the challenges with the police service stem from developments such as interference of politics and politicians in the affairs of the police such as “politicians manipulating the service, issues of recruitment, exams and promotion” among others.

“While this is an immediate ad-hoc response which is useful, I think we need to take a couple of steps back, get a group of people around the table and say, how have we gotten here, why have we gotten here, what are the trends for the next 5, 10, or 15 years with respect to the changing dynamics of crime expanding,” Dr. Kwesi Aning added.

The two officers on Wednesday were killed when occupants of a vehicle they signalled to stop opened fire on them along the Kasoa to Budumburam stretch.

So far three suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing of the officers.

Police in the Central Region also said efforts are being made to arrest a fourth suspect in connection with the crime.

The vehicle involved in the crime has been impounded to help with police investigations.

The Central Regional Police Commander, Paul Manly Awini condemned the act describing it as an unfortunate incident.

He has also indicated that three liaison officers have been appointed to be a link between the police and the families.