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Opinions of Friday, 25 September 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide

A constable’s uncanny jubilation

One of the worrying stories in our recent editions was about a constable celebrating on Facebook the brutal treatment meted out to the voter register demonstrators in Accra last week Wednesday.

It is a story to be beaten in terms of weirdness and outright unprofessionalism. Coming on the heels of a recent warning by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Alhassan, to cops to steer away from inappropriate conduct and remarks incommensurate with law enforcement code of conduct, the chief law enforcement officer got it right when he issued the warning.

His warning was informed by recent misconducts by some cops, one of which had to do with a female policewoman said to be drinking an alcoholic beverage in uniform. Another had a police motor rider leading an excited motorist who was boasting of having as it were, a cop in his pocket.

While we acknowledge the efforts of the Police Administration to restore the now fading regiment-type discipline to the law enforcement agency, we find it disturbing that characters like Constable George Akwei would throw discipline and etiquette to the winds the way he did on Facebook.

Virtually insulting those who embarked on the ill-fated demonstration last week and saying all manner of inappropriate remarks in full uniform, such young men do not have a future in such state institutions.

Allowing such characters in the police would be sowing a seed of its destruction, prognosis we find scary.

It is not too late to get rid of such bad nuts in an institution which should not have room for undisciplined young men who think they can always be protected by their political godfathers.

We are aware about how politicians have pushed their wards and party supporters into the ranks of the law enforcement agency and how such persons have created untold challenges for the Police Administration.

Regardless of how recruits are enlisted, discipline must be allowed to prevail in the conduct of constables otherwise the Ghana Police Service would fail to live up to the spirit of ‘Service With Integrity’ – a motto which inspires confidence and hope.

As an important segment of the justice administration chain, we cannot afford to have law enforcement agents breaching the ethics of the profession they have sworn to uphold by all means.

If the IGP is looking for those who are breaching his orders, Constable George Akwei stands prominent. Setting an example with this young man would not be a bad idea – no matter which politician pushed him into the throat of the administration.

It is not for us to make such recommendations, we know, but suffice to point out that all of us critical stakeholders can see when the image of the police is being dragged in the mud.

Imagine what adverse image Constable George Akwei would attract for a police service still struggling to parry the bad press it has suffered recently.

Celebrating the lost eye of a compatriot through a rubber bullet or a yet-to-be-identified object by a cop is most reprehensible.