Ghana: Interior Minister criticizes Police Commaders inept attitude

Posted: January 25, 2010 in Crime
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Interior Minister,Cletus Avoka, is obviously not happy with the conduct of some senior police officers in the country.

This became clear when he took the opportunity to interact with various commanders of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) at the national police command conference in Accra yesterday.

When he mounted the platform to deliver his address, Mr. Avoka launched a scathing attack on what he described as a laissez-faire attitude of some police commanders, asking them to be up and doing, since government will not condone any such practices.

“There are some district, divisional and regional commanders whose attitude, cooperation and professionalism after my one year in office can be described as that suffering from jet lag or whimsical inertia,” he noted.

The Interior Minister, who looked fire-up and sometimes sounded emotional, mostly spoke off the cuff while reading from his prepared script, threw an open challenge to the police commanders to immediately change their attitude to that of a proactive and professional one.

According to him, this will help build a good image for the police service and also regain the confidence and trust reposed in the service by the public.

The conference which is under the theme ‘establishing total control in crime, the fight against armed robbery and regaining public confidence and trust’ brought together all the commanding officers of the police service and members of the police headquarters management and advisory board.

The conference is thus, expected to identify critical and key policy issues of priority concern to the police administration in relation to effective and efficient enforcement of law and order in the country.

“After one year of the NDC administration in office, there will be no tolerance or somebody waiting to see. We will see nothing and you will have to work,” he told them bluntly.

According to him, assessment of personnel within the service will be based on performance and therefore entreated them to give off their best in making the country a better place to live.

“Assessment of District, Divisional and Regional Commanders will be based on performance. We are going to look at how far you are relating to other institutions, how far you are relating with your division or district and how far you have been able to control armed robbery and other violent activities including chieftaincy disputes in your locality,” he noted.

For this reason, he charged the leadership of the police service led by Paul Quaye to flush out miscreants within the service who are denting the image of the profession.

“There are still miscreants in the service whose unprofessional activities continue to push down the slope or otherwise ascending image of the service. Information reaching me suggests that acts of bribery and corruption still rear their ugly heads in some sections of the service,” the Interior Minister noted.

In some instances, he noted that “police personnel have been detected as part of the security problem. I will therefore put my trust in commanders to identify recalcitrant personnel and deal with them according to your professional code of conduct and the dictates of the law.”

On his part, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Paul Quaye told the gathering that the police service was embarking on an image-cleansing exercise to win back the confidence and trust reposed in them by the public.

According to him, several factors have accumulatively accounted for the poor public image of the service, a situation he attributed to the actions and inactions of a few inept police officers.

“It is regrettable that the unacceptable behaviours of a handful of our personnel have given causes for the public to have negative perceptions that the average policeman is of a mediocre caliber and an under-achiever with no moral strength of character,” he noted adding “We are determined to work hard to reverse these negative perceptions. We are working pragmatically to project our image in fostering close links with the citizenry.”

Vice President of the Republic and Chairman of the police council, John Dramani Mahama stressed on the need to improve on the intellectual capacity of the ordinary policeman.

He pledged government’s support to revamp the police service in order to rapidly respond to crime in the community.

In that regard, he pledged government’s commitment to soon make available, a DNA laboratory for the police service to aid in their investigations in crime related issues. This, he believes will help clamp down on criminal activities in the country.


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