-Deal ruthlessly with them – Dr Bawumia charges police
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has charged the Police Service to remain neutral in its operations and deal decisively with anyone who will foment trouble before, during and after this year’s parliamentary and presidential elections.
He stated that the December 7 elections would be a litmus test for the country’s democracy, and entreated the police to discharge their duties professionally and devoid of intimidation and harassment of the public.
He reiterated government’s commitment to provide the Police Service with the requisite logistics and tools to perform its constitutional mandate, in order to safeguard the peace and security of the nation and ensure a credible and transparent electoral process.
Dr Bawumia made the call at the 2019 West African Security Services Activity (WASSA) of the Ghana Police Service, held at the Police Headquarters in Accra.
The annual get-together afforded an opportunity for personnel of the Police Service to take stock of the previous year’s activities and interact with the civilian population towards ensuring improved service in the coming year.
At this year’s event, police personnel were entertained with contemporary music from popular Ghanaian artistes, with plenty of food and drinks to savour.
700 Multi-purpose vehicles for police
While recounting some of the support offered to the service, the Vice-President, who is also the Chairman of the Police Council, said government, since 2017, provided 700 multi-purpose vehicles.
According to him, to enable the service to enhance its operational effectiveness and safeguard the peace and security of the citizenry, three helicopters have also been provided.
Body armours, cameras and modern gadgets
Additionally, he said, the police personnel were given body armours, cameras and other modern gadgets to safeguard their safety.
Aviation training in South Africa
Dr Bawumia said six constables are undergoing aviation training in South Africa to pilot the helicopters.
Police Airborne Unit
He noted that 50 personnel were being trained to constitute the Police Airborne Unit, to enable the police respond effectively to aerial situations and protect lives and property.
320 Housing units
The Vice-President said 320 housing units were under construction to offset the housing deficit, and, thus, entreated the service to continue exercising professionalism and adopt modern intelligence and investigation strategies to ensure peace and tranquillity.
According to him, 20,000 security officers across the various security agencies due for promotion have been promoted since 2017, which motivated and boosted their morale to give of their best.
He said greater collaboration between the police and their civilian counterparts would help in curbing crimes and making the nation a better place to live.
Dr Bawumia lauded the management of the Police Service for introducing an Anti-Corruption Action Plan and Complaint Unit to deal with police misconduct and public complains timeously.
He charged them to work tirelessly to halt the frequent road carnage by strictly enforcing road safety regulations and prosecuting offenders to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Fatal road accidents often leave psychological scars and painful experiences on the families of the victims, and, therefore, being the key institution for ensuring internal security and safety, you should work to prevent road carnage in the country,” Dr Bawumia advised.
Digitisation to fight crime
The Vice-President said government was leveraging on digitisation to fight crime, saying that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Insurance Commission (NIC) had linked their databases so that the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Police Service could easily check whether vehicles were insured and possessed the requisite roadworthy documents.
That, he believed, would go a long way to curb road crashes and get rid of rickety vehicles on the roads to ensure road safety for both motorists and passengers.
Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Prosper Kwame Agblor, Director-General, Legal and Prosecution of the Ghana Police Service, who deputised for the Inspector-General of Police, Mr James Oppong Boanuh, said the service, last year, performed its constitutional duties creditably despite limited number of personnel.
34,982 Strong police force
Currently, he said, the service has a staff strength of 34,982, with a ratio of 1:808 police to civilians, thus falling below the United Nations standard of 1:500.
11 Police personnel died in line of duty last year
He said the service lost 11 police personnel in line of duty last year, and a minute of silence was observed to honour their memory.
7,000 Personnel promoted in 2019
COP Agblor said 7,000 police personnel who were due for promotion in 2019 were duly promoted across various ranks, thereby boosting their morale to give of their best.
On accommodation challenge, he said those who paid their own rent were duly reimbursed, and, thus, commended government for taking measures to solve the police accommodation deficit.
He pledged the service’s resolve to remain impartial in its operations as the nation heads for general elections.
The service rewarded 10 police personnel and two civilian staff for their exceptional contributions over the past year.
Dr Bawumia earlier inspected a photo exhibition mounted by the Police Service showcasing some of the government’s developmental projects implemented over the past three years.