General News of Monday, 12 February 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Stop aligning with government in power – Akufo-Addo tells Police

The Ghana Police Service has received assurance from the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that the service will be given the necessary logistics and resources to enable it to function effectively. The President has, meanwhile, asked personnel of the service to desist from the penchant of tying their destinies to the government of the day or any political entity.

He said it was improper for the Police Service and other security agencies, which are supposed to be professionals, to pledge allegiance to a government in power.

He said it was in the interest of all that the Police Service retained its neutrality and professionalism, as guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution, stressing that “governments have term limits, and in a multi-party democracy, parties win and lose power”.

This was contained in a speech read on behalf of the President by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the 47th Cadet Officers Graduation Parade at the National Police Training School at Tesano in Accra last Friday.

At the ceremony, 132 cadet officers were commissioned to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).

National interest

The President said it was in the interest of the nation that the police remained neutral, saying it was for that reason that the service ought not to tie its fortunes to political parties or to the government of the day.

“Doing so undermines your integrity and your professionalism and puts all of us at risk in the long run,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said the government, in partnership with the leadership of the Ghana Police Service, was determined to ensure that the Police Service was allowed to focus on its core mandate and not to become an appendage of the ruling party.

“I envisage a Ghana Police Service that goes about its duty of protecting ordinary citizens confident that there will be no interference from the powers that be,” he added.

In view of that, he said, the government would do all in its power to provide the necessary logistics and resources for the service to enable it to discharge its duties effectively, especially in the wake of reports of lawlessness and mob violence.

Security

On law and order, the President said his government’s focus was on proactive and preventive policing, rather than reactive, in addition to building a robust, effective, efficient and disciplined police force.

That, he said, would be achieved by increasing both the visibility and the capacity of the institution, adding that an initial GH¢800 million had been earmarked for the service in the short term to support the key task of reducing crime and increasing public safety

As part of measures to enhance security and monitor inmates in police cells, he announced that the government had completed negotiations for 8,700 CCTV cameras to be deployed in all 216 districts and the three command centres in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.

Additionally, he said, all police stations were to be rehabilitated to bring them up to standard.

The President said in line with plans to upgrade the service in terms of equipment, at least 1,000 new vehicles would be procured for the service this year.

Already, he said, 200 pick-ups had been allocated to the service under ‘Operation Calm Life’, with another 200 saloon cars expected to be delivered in six weeks’ time.

Special units

“We are also on course to setting up special police units. Resources have been allocated for police kits, including protective gear and adequate quantities of other essential equipment, including guns and ammunition,” he announced.

The government, President Akufo-Addo, said, also anticipated that the police would strengthen engagement with the communities they served in the hope that it would be a more sustainable way of reducing crime.

He said, the government had programmed to recruit 4,000 more police personnel this year.

“We know that it is not the number of policemen we recruit that matters most but instead the number of men we deploy and how effectively they are deployed.

“We are improving the data analytics of the service to make policing more efficient and alive to modern trends in fighting crime,” he added.

Towards that end, President Akufo-Addo challenged officers and men of the service to work hard at redeeming its image following low rankings it consistently received in the annual Afrobarometer Corruption Perception surveys.

He described the rankings as “not right and can no longer be the status quo”.

The President said citizens could only have confidence in the Police Service when personnel were seen to be honest and enforced the law without fear or favour.