Police must be consistent

BY: Daily Graphic
COP Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah
COP Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah

Kidnapping can result in very serious negative psychological effects for both the victim and the family. The depression, anxiety and experiences they go through result in psychiatric ailments such as post-traumatic stress disorders which may last a lifetime.

The unpleasant permanent effect of kidnapping induces fear in people who live in societies where the act is high. The apprehension of such people limits their lives and activities. It creates insecurity and socioeconomic development is affected negatively.

The horrific effects of kidnapping can be appreciated better when viewed against the backdrop that medical science has said most people who have been exposed to traumatic events develop feelings of anger, shock, fear, guilt and nervousness that unfortunately do not fade over time but rather intensify until the one is overwhelmed and unable to function.

Until recently, from August 2018 to January 2019 when Ruth Quayson, Priscilla Blessing Bentum and Priscilla Koranchie were reported kidnapped in quick succession, the incidence of kidnapping was almost alien to Ghana.

Whereas in some countries kidnapping has been used as a political, religious and economic tool, the Daily Graphic and many Ghanaians are at their wit’s end as to the rationale for its occurrence in the country, as the millions and thousands they demand from the victims’ families can hardly be a motivation for the act in Ghana.

And be it as it may, many reasons are being bandied around for the real motive for the abduction of these unfortunate ladies. And why are they only females and all of it happening in or around Takoradi? These are the questions we should find answers to.

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The outpouring of emotions by, especially, the parents and family members is very well understood and the Daily Graphic joins other concerned patriots to extend its sympathy to them in the hope that efforts being made to rescue the girls to unite with the whole nation become fruitful.

We very well appreciate the displeasure expressed by the families a couple of days ago about what they described as the lack of information from the police concerning investigations on the abducted girls.

It is a fact that not every information can be divulged to third parties when investigations are still ongoing, but the situation where the families of the victims hear announcements of their kidnapped daughters and sisters on radio, we think, is not the best.

At least it could have been good if the police had disclosed to the families the whereabouts of the victims before going to press with it.

It is also very disappointing that the police service is behaving as if it has no communication policy in place. A senior officer says the girls have been found or their whereabouts are known but in the same breath the very Police Administration denies the abducted victims have been located.

Our advice to the police is that they must not lose sight of the fact that fighting crime is a shared responsibility between them and the rest of the citizenry and it is only when there is trust that that collaboration can be possible.

The police owe it a duty to be consistent with their statements so that they can command the respect, confidence and trust that is needed from the public to make their work successful.

Contradictions in communication have the potential of denting their image, hence a review of their communication strategies will be to the benefit of all, as we look forward to their proven professionalism in unravelling the mystery surrounding the missing “Takoradi girls”.