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General News of Monday, 2 September 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Arming police not needed, focus on reforming service – Security Analyst

Adam Bona, Security Analyst says the Police hierarchy and the government should be focusing on reforming the service and not arming more personnel.

He said this in relation to a government directive to arm Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) officers following the killing of two police personnel on the Kasoa to Budumburam stretch last week

While speaking on The Big Issue, Mr. Bona said “the whole situation needs to be cleaned up… Let’s look at the way they are trained and those who monitor them.”

He remarked that not even bombs could make the police feel safer.

“This issue of police officers coming under attack is not going to stop. It doesn’t matter if you arm them with bombs. It doesn’t matter how prepared you are. An ambush is an ambush.”

Mr. Bona cited the poor welfare and sanitation of police personnel and even the lack of uniformity in their apparel as more pressing concerns.

“You see police officers riding scooters without helmets. You see some of them with their top jacket open. You see some of them with reflectors not properly buttoned. Sometimes I stop to ask them; the way you are dressed, how do you expect me to respect you as a police officer?

“Until that change comes, we aren’t going to see so much difference with regards to the way police officers are protected and the way they protect us.”

Lack of trust

Any reforms should increase the transparency and accountability of the police, Mr. Bona added.

He noted a lack of trust in the service as a source of friction between citizens and police.

“What is happening has to do with a lack of trust when dealing with our security agents… One of the things that some of us have called for is transparency in the way those who are clothed with power to protect us go about their duties.”