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General News of Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Kwabenya attack: 'Police training, tactics must evolve' - Budu Koomson

A retired Captain of the Ghana Armed Forces, Budu Koomson, has cautioned the Ghana Police Service against sticking to outmoded crime-fighting strategies.

Mr Koomson believes the nature of the current threats posed by criminal gangs and armed robbers calls for a proportionate change in the training and tactics by the police force to nip the situation in the bud.

“The threats are evolving and so the tactics and training must also evolve. I guess it is evolving but maybe too slow,” he said on PM Express, a current affairs programme on the Joy News channel (Multi TV).

He was assessing the security situation in the country following isolated daring attacks by armed criminals on both civilians and security forces ac the country, the latest being a raid on the Kwabenya Police Station in Accra.

In that attack, a police officer was gunned down, and seven remand prisoners were set free by at least seven armed persons.

Last week two police officers stationed at Drobonso in the Sekyere Afram Plains District of the Ashanti Region were killed by armed men.

A third officer sustained gunshot wounds and was in a critical condition at Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.



Commenting on the security situation in the country on Monday, Mr Koomson urged the police to send a strong message to the public against these attacks, especially on law enforcement agencies.

“It is the reaction [police] put in...Ghanaians are bold but they are not daring and if they [security forces] put on a robust posture and go robustly after these people [attacks will be stopped in its track]...You can make it dangerous for anybody to attack a police post,” he told the Ghana Police.

Meanwhile, a security expert with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has also warned that there could be more attacks on security personnel unless Ghana’s security strategy is reformed.

Dr Kwesi Aning explained to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Monday that the current security structure is vulnerable in the face of the changing security situation in the country.

Poor strategy

Speaking specifically about the Kwabenya attacks, he observed that like the police post that was hit, there is no strategic plan in the siting of police posts in many parts of the country,

He laments the architecture of some of the police posts, noting that "sometimes it is even a tent".

"And you look at the architecture of these police posts and you wonder, is it constructed with security in mind? How safe are these structures...a lot of these things have to be critically questioned now," he reiterated.



He wants the Police to consider designating specific police posts as "hard points” where hardened criminals can be kept.

"[Police] should not have put the [Kwabenya] criminals in the same area they were arrested. You could disperse them. You don’t also mix armed robbers with pickpockets,' he said.

Investment

He observed that spending on logistics and personnel for the Ghana Police Service has reduced and called for more investment.

“We have to invest in the right things,” which means fewer V8 vehicles and more guns and ammunition,

“The right allocation of funds should be commensurate with you threat evaluation,” he stressed.

Adam Bonaa, a security analyst on the show also condemned political interference in the work of security personnel and lack of resources that the police face.

"It is refreshing to note that the current administration is investing. I am aware that AK47s have been imported to be distributed to various police stations. And so I am hoping that the Interior Minister and the powers that be will swiftly get these AKs into town," Mr Bonaa said.