Police pledge incident free festive period
The Ghana Police Service has assured the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) that it has put in place effective measures to ensure an incident free festive period.
It said although the Christmas season was when Christians across the country celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, it was not limited to only Christians as people of other religious faith joined in the celebration.
Crime statistics available to the police have indicated that there is usually an increase in the activities of criminals during the period.
Notwithstanding that, the Police Administration has indicated that there are adequate measures in place to ensure that conventions by Christian bodies, other celebrations and social activities will take place without the fear of criminals taking advantage of the period for their nefarious activities.
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, gave the assurance during a stakeholder engagement with the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) in Accra last Thursday.
The engagement was to seek the input of stakeholders into security preparations ahead of the December/January festivities.
The IGP said last year was a near incident-free festive period and “I want to assure you that this year will be an awesome period of both Christmas and New Year which will be one to remember.”
Dr Dampare said the police was a public service institution and that its officers were servants who wanted to serve the people and God.
“We have realised that our relationship has not been the best. We have decided to bridge the gap and touch base with the people to help to serve the public better,” the IGP said.
The plan, he explained, was also to rewrite the narrative of civilians fearing the police, saying “we do not want a situation where people see a police officer and feel uncomfortable”.
Dr Dampare said the Police Service would work with other security agencies to ensure that the people continued to enjoy peace, security, law and order which should cause improvement in the security situations going into the future.
“We would like you to pass on the message to your congregations that the police are on top of their job. Criminal activities have reduced and we will do more so they should be rest assured,” he said.
Dr Dampare said the country “will continue to be at peace because that is what God wants for us and the police will play its part to ensure that from now to the end of the year and beyond the security provision will be an overdose.”
He said the vision of the Police Administration was to be the best institution in the country and the reference organisation in the world.
“We will keep shaping and rebranding the Police Service to build a police of the people, by the people and for the people. Police of the people because the personnel will come out of the people, by the people because we will engage you to tell us what you want us to do and for the people because we will be there for you,” he explained.
The Chairman of GPCC, Apostle Eric Kwabena Nyamekye, who was impressed with the agenda of the Police Service to serve the people and the desire to be the best institution, commended the leadership of the service for the various measures it was putting in place to lift the image of the institution.
“If you do not have an agenda, you cannot achieve anything. We respect what you are doing. God is not only interested in the church but the police as well,” he said.
Apostle Nyamekye also praised the police for initiating the stakeholder engagement as it would help to allay the fears of civilians.
The First Vice-President of the council, Bishop Gordon Kisseih, assured the police of the support of the council.
Dealing with bad lots
Responding to concerns of some members of the council over the activities of police officers at barriers and checkpoints where some personnel solicit for money from motorists, the Director-General in Charge of the National Patrol and Visibility Directorate of the service, Commissioner of Police (COP) Paul Manly Awini, said “We are not proud of it. We are ashamed.”
He said a number of strategies had been put in place to address such behaviour, including investigating and taking those caught through internal disciplinary measures.
“They will be tried and dismissed. Some have had their ranks reduced and various measures meted out to them. But you see, this is a human institution and there are few bad lots,” COP Awini added.
He gave an assurance that the Police Administration would double its effort to weed out all the bad lots in the service.