Feature Article of Monday, 21 May 2012

Columnist: The Informer

Commentary: Let’s Sing Our Police Service

A prophet is not without honour except in his own country. The above biblical quotation seems to capture aptly the paradox in which the Ghana Police Service finds itself as far as the perception of a section of the Ghanaian public is concerned.

A section of the Ghanaian populace has continued to desecrate and bastardize the Police, irrespective of all the efforts the Service is making to provide security in the country.

Of late, this vilification of the Police has reached a crescendo, where it has been even politicized in the wake of the recent Biometric Registration Exercise (BRE).

All one needs to do was to tune in to any of the numerous radio stations in our cities and towns to measure the level of bastardization of the Ghana Police Service.

Ironically, this is happening at a time when crimes, especially, violent crimes have been brought down to insignificant proportions, and which should rather be a time for praises and encouragement. It must, however, be said that there is a section of the public that has seen, and appreciated the sterling performance of the Police.

This acknowledgement and appreciation, over the years, have traversed the boarders of the country into the international arena. The Ghana Police Service has gained fame, far and wide, including even United Nations circles, where Ghana Police personnel have served the world with aplomb, and to popular acclaim.

The latest body to acknowledge, by inference, the effort of the Ghana Police Service, is the renowned Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a foundation established in 2006 to support good governance and great leadership in Africa.

It is instructive to note that, the foundation in its recent appraisal of African countries in good governance ranks Ghana the 7th Best Government in Africa and best 2nd in West Africa.

The rankings are said to have been based on four main indicators, namely: Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development. The indicator, which is of prime interest to the Police, is Safety and Rule of Law.

On that index or indicator alone, Ghana performed better than the overall ranking, scoring 72% and placing 6th on the continent.

Arguably, the safety aspect of that indicator was about internal security and peace, and undeniably internal security is the mandate of the Police, and for that matter, the Ghana Police Service.

One can, therefore, reliably and confidently, surmise that the ranking was largely about the rating of the performance of the Police. It is in this light that the Police feel so proud to share in the glory of the country. In fact, The Informer is at sea, as to why social commentators, critics and individuals have not as yet seen this loud achievement, and have kept a very resounding silence over it.

Undeniably, if it were a ranking which were pejorative to and condemning of the Police, we would have had tons and tons of condemnation of the Service, irrespective of how obscured the inference would have been.

Even if the eventual reference had been hidden in layers and strata of metaphors, oxymorons, similes, hyperboles and literary ‘what-have-yous, the ‘experts’ would have employed the most sophisticated literary appraisal tools to get to it, just to prove how hopeless Ghana Police Service is. Unfortunately this one is gone unnoticed so far. However, the pedigree of Mo Ibrahim Foundation alone gives cause for joy.

According to Daily Graphic of Wednesday 16th May 2012 “The Mo Ibrahim index is the most comprehensive collection of qualitative and quantitative data that provides an annual assessment of government performance in every African country”.

What is more, the caliber of countries that came ahead of Ghana makes our ranking more prominent and propitious. These are the likes of Mauritius, Cape Verde, Botswana, Seychelles, South Africa and Namibia. The sterling showing of Ghana in the performance of the Safety and Rule of Law, can in part, be ascribed to the equally 24-carrat performance of the Ghana Police Service.

Though the country still records some cases of robbery and violent crimes, the Police have beaten them down drastically.

The incident of highway robbery which rose to worrying levels a couple of years back has been decisively dealt with, with the requisite speed and competence by the Police. The likes of Droppam, Kwabena Takyi, Rabiu, Babanawo, who were terrorizing the good people of Ghana, have been eliminated, thereby; giving some relief to the people of Ghana. Furthermore, the war that the Police launched on Commercial Crime, visa fraud, property fraud, internet fraud, conmen and other forms of fraud, which were scaring prospective investors away is yielding dividend in leaps and bounds. Moreover, except for recent few spousal abuse violent cases recorded, the Police has brought some sanity to our domestic setting, where the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit - DOVVSU is operating with competence. Generally, the security situation has improved. The Police do their best to prevent crimes, and where they occur, personnel move heaven and earth to solve them, thereby, giving assurance, hope and a sense of security to the countrymen and women and investors. The point must be made, though, that, the Police have not attained the desired heights yet, as there are some more security issues to grapple with. The Image-Cleansing Campaign is also still in force; and they are gradually weeding out miscreants and unprofessional officers, who are dragging the image of the Service in a mire.

This notwithstanding, it must be emphasized that, the Ghana Police Service is living up to its mandate of providing security, and maintaining law and order in the country. And this has caught the attention of no mean an institution than the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

However, the Police Service would be ungrateful if it savours this feat all alone. It must be shared with its sister security agencies like the Fire Service, Prisons, Immigration; and especially, the Military for supporting it in this noble cause of providing security; and peace-making. Finally, the Informer wish the Police is not deceived into resting on its oars and letting the gains it has made dissipate, but will see this report as a shot in the arm, to aspire to even greater heights.