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General News of Monday, 22 January 2018

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

Ghana must respond to changing security threats – Maj. Blege

Major Yao Vincent Blege (rtd), a Security Analysist and formerly at the National Security Council Secretariat, on Monday, called for change in Ghana’s response to the changing security threat across the globe.

“The Kwabenya District Police jailbreak is a wakeup call. It is time to review the posture and deployment of our Police Personnel to ensure that the Officers are capable of self-defence, when needed,” Maj. Blege told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.

Maj. Blege, who is now the Executive Director at the Human Security Research Centre (HSRC-Ghana), a Civil Society Organisation, said whilst efforts are ongoing to address the logistical challenges that the Police Administration is saddled with, immediate alternative measures ought to be put in place to prevent the reoccurrence of such unlawful acts and to particularly reassure Ghanaians of their safety.

The HSRC-Ghana Executive Director therefore recommended the re-institutionalization of fortified Detention Centres in all District and Regional Police Command, especially where hardened criminals on remand could be lawfully detained immediately upon arrest.

Maj Blege, who was also a Deputy Quarter Master General, Support Service Brigade of the Ghana Armed Forces, called on National Security to consider plans to ensure that each Police District has a Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT).

He said security analysis conducted by the HSRC-Ghana indicates that the District Police Stations are not capable of their own self-defence against attacks, hence the recommendation to set up a SWAT at each District Police Headquarters.

The HSRC-Ghana Executive Director urged the police administration to reconsider instructions on the custody of armed robbers, and hardened criminals by local Police Stations, and questioned why the Kwabenya criminals were not remanded into Prison custody.

He also stressed on the need for decentralization to ensure better shaping of each District Police Stations in relation to the environment and types of crime prevalent in its area of responsibility.

The HSRC-Ghana focuses on advocating human security as the appropriate concept and approach for the protection and empowerment of individuals and local communities.

It classified as highly disturbing, the rampant occurrence of community violence, particularly the “shoot and kill” phenomenon of criminals against security officers on duty in recent times.

On Sunday, January 21, a gang suspected to be armed robbers attacked and freed six Ghanaians and one Nigerian suspects in Police Cells at the Kwabenya District Police headquarters. In the process of the attack, one Police officer was killed.

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