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Opinions of Sunday, 28 August 2016

Columnist: Daily Guide

Donkorkrom mayhem: Intelligence failure

John Kudalor, Inspector General of PoliceJohn Kudalor, Inspector General of Police

What happened in Donkorkrom was avoidable we can bet. Before the residents descended upon the police station and torched it, the Ghana Police Service as an institution should have picked intelligence to that effect and therefore secured their installation from possible attack. Unfortunately nothing was done.

A few people from the town were overheard on some radio stations expressing their angst about the fleeing of the cops who were arrested earlier. The tone of their expression suggested that they could be up to something sinister for which the police should have been proactive.

The Police have a number of action units which could have obviated what befell the police station. Little things like these reduce the esteem of the institution and hence morale of personnel, which is not good for efficiency.

The Ghana Police Service, as an internal security agency of the country, must have an efficient system of intelligence gathering and analyzing.

Unfortunately, the institution can hardly boast of anything close to that.

The shortcoming has often led to untoward occurrences such as the torching of the police station which is what triggered this commentary in the first place.

We have also learnt about how the superior officer in charge of the place failed in his fire control orders which eventually led to the negative occurrence.

Our point is that the Ghana Police Service against the backdrop of recent drawbacks in their performance rating spanning the existence of bad nuts within its fold to intelligence failings, must re-engineer itself.

No effective re-engineering of the institution can achieve the desired result if political interference continues to hold sway in the matters of the agency.

Without an efficient intelligence gathering muscle, the Ghana Police Service will witness more overwhelming attack from persons who are dissatisfied with the law enforcement agency.

An efficient intelligence management system would also enable the Service to be ahead of criminals.

Elsewhere in this edition, there is a story about some bad cops who were arrested and brought to the Greater Accra Regional Police Headquarters.

We are constrained to express despondency about what is beginning to look like one drawback too many in the performance of the Police.

There is no institution without black sheep but the number when it exceeds an acceptable figure must attract a national conversation which is what we are proposing.

The fingering of bad cops in an assortment of criminalities in recent times is a cause for concern.

A few days ago, the Director General- Operations of the Ghana Police Service, COP Christian Yohunu was reported to have ordered police personnel to shoot their colleagues who go on robbery operations.

Has the situation gotten that bad? Unfortunately such bad cops do not go robbing in uniform. Do they? A working intelligence system would expose robber cops for sure.