Political Parties urged to comply with laws during political campaigns
7/13/2012 10:30:29 PM -
Cape Coast July 13, GNA - The Central Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Stephen Andoh Kuofie, has appealed to political parties to comply with all laws, rules and regulations during their campaigns to ensure incident free polls in December.
He said being in an election year did not mean that laws such as the Criminal Offence Act, Public Order Act, Representation of peoples Act and Motor Offences Act have been repealed and urged all political parties to comply with these laws before, during and after the December polls to ensure peace and order in the country.
DCOP Koufie made the call at a press conference in Cape Coast on Thursday to brief the media on current happenings in the region in relation to security and plans ahead of the election.
He expressed regret that during political campaigns all types of means of conveyance were used such as trucks , motor bikes and bicycle , coupled with the tooting of horns, over speeding and all kinds of displays which normally resulted in casualties.
He said there was an emerging trend where communities had started threatening not to vote if they were not provided with facilities like potable water, good roads and electricity and warned that those who did not want to vote because their demands were not met should not prevent other people who would want to vote even without the provision of those facilities.
On chieftaincy disputes, the Regional Commander expressed concern about the numerous chieftaincy disputes in the region which has resulted in the installation of rival chiefs, making it impossible for such chiefs to exercise full governance , such organizing communal labour as well as celebrating festivals.
He said in recent times there had been attempted destolments of chiefs at Brenu-Akyinu , Abrem-Agona and Hemang and advised 'destoolment contractors ' to fully comply with the Chieftaincy Act 758, Public Order Act 491 and Communal Offences Act 29.
Touching on the crime situation in the region, DCOP Kuofie said non controllable crimes such rape recorded 28 cases in the first half of the year whiles defilement shot up from 59 cases in the first half of last year to 150 cases this year with murder cases recording 20 as against 29 last year.
He said controllable crimes like robberies recorded 102 cases in the first half of the year as against 34 within the same period this year, with narcotics recording 26 against six this year.
He mentioned Kasoa and Dunkwa-On-Offin as the flash points in the region and said his outfit had put in place strategies like 'tent city swoops' which had helped to reduce crime rates from two to five cases in any other week in the two areas.
On road accidents the Regional Commander said in 2011 a total of 621 cases were recorded against 611 this year with 780 deaths this year as against 440 last year, with 89 fatal cases this year as compared to 54 in 2011.
DCOP Koufie said 513 commercial vehicles were involved this year as against 377 last year whiles 302 private vehicles were involved against 223 last year with motor bikes recording 69 this year against 52 last year.
He attributed most of the accidents to attitudinal behaviour such as wrong overtaking, sometimes on a hill, or in a curve, non concentration, for instance using a mobile phone, an inhaler, changing of CDs as well as tiredness.
He said he was looking for the day that passengers would boycott a vehicle with no license, roadworthiness certificate and fire extinguisher and urged all station officers to enforce pre departure inspection on vehicles that load at their stations.
DCOP Kuofie said the police in the region were saddled with challenges such as people turning FM stations into police stations where they make such Fm stations as their first point of call when there was an incident instead reporting to the police.
He said he was not happy with politicians and political party leaders identifying themselves with suspects and pleaded on their behalf, thereby frustrating the work of the police and called on politicians to desist from the practice.
The Regional Commander said another major challenge facing the police was institutional frustration especially from the judiciary and hospitals and suggested that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should cover cases like defilement, rape and post mortem results.
According to him because defilement, rape and post mortem results were not covered by the NHIS, most victims who were issued with medical forms to attend hospital failed to return such forms because they could not pay the fees charged, thereby affecting police investigations as well delay the prosecution of cases.
He also mentioned illegal mining as another major problem facing the police and said illegal miners sometimes carried more sophisticated weapons than the police which make it difficult for them to arrest such culprits.