Brutalities Meted Out To Innocent Citizens By The Police

The Ghana Police Service per the Constitution is mandated to protect lives and property. However, it is an open secret that the Service is not adequately resourced in terms of equipment, vehicles, modern security gadgets and accommodation. The Service is also under staffed thus over-stretching the numbers currently working. With all these challenges, some Police personnel are working diligently to ensure peace and tranquility in the society. There are others who at best can be described as miscreants who go harassing the very people they are supposed to protect thus tarnishing the image of the service. The President in the State of the Nation Address in Parliament in February this year indicated that his administration has earmarked 800 million Ghana Cedis to retool the Ghana Police Service. Government also has plans to provide one hundred saloon cars to the Service for other operations. This is to ensure that the Service performs its duties effectively and efficiently. Some philanthropists also in their own small way are providing office accommodation and equipment to resource the service.

However, while government and other well-meaning Ghanaians are breaking their back to help resource the Service some miscreants and self-seekers within the system are going round indulging in nefarious activities such as extorting monies at check points, clashing with the youth, manhandling drivers and engaging in armed robbery activities. Recently reports have that, the Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Security and Counter Terrorism, Emmanuel Kotin was allegedly assaulted in Tema by a Police Patrol Team and in the process he lost two thousand Ghana Cedis and his wrist watch. There are indications that the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Unit, PIPS, is going into the matter. Again recently, a journalist working with the State Broadcaster, GBC was alleged to have been assaulted by a Police Officer who extorted about one thousand Ghana Cedis from him. Another incident occurred at Dedeiman, a suburb of Pokuase in the Ga West Municipality where the Police allegedly clashed with the youth of the town in their attempt to protect a local fetish priest from being attacked by the irate youth. In the process, some of the youth were injured and two Police cars were vandalised. It is not a pleasant situation when the Police who are mandated to protect the people engage them in fisticuff.

Reports of Police personnel engaging in nefarious activities abound but that does not mean the youth can take the laws into their hands to fight them. Nobody is above the law, those who are mistreated by the police or any security officer have the right to use legal means to seek redress. It is sad the police administration has been undertaking frequent reshuffles to ensure that the Service performs its duties efficiently but the miscreants in the system are thwarting such efforts. The issue of miscreants in the system calls to question the recruitment process that is whether background checks are conducted on recruits before being engaged. Again, are officers monitored to find out who they hang out with to ensure they do not fall into bad company? To ensure that Police Officers play their roles well to justify the support they are getting from government and well-meaning Ghanaians, there is the need for the Police administration to put in stringent measures to sanction misguided personnel. The people must support the Service with information to create a conducive environment for the people and the Police.

BY: ERNEST OBENG-ANIM, A JOURNALIST.

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