The Police Administration on Monday warned that it would deal drastically with personnel who flouted the organisation's rules, regulations and administrative instructions relating to interaction with members of the public and the media in particular.
"The Police Service Instructions and Public Affairs Media Policy are explicit on procedures for giving out or releasing information to both the print and electronic media," Mrs Elizabeth Mills-Robertson, Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Administration, said when she met Chief Inspectors and Inspectors of the Service in Accra. She said the policy spelled out that responsibilities and authority to release information must come from the Inspector-General of Police, the two Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and the Police Public Relations Directorate.
Further, all request for the release of information must be channelled to the Police Administration through the Public Relations Directorate for approval. Mrs Mills-Robertson emphasized that these policies remained unchanged and the Administration would not spare any officer, who flouted these instructions. "Personal scores against superiors, contemporaries and subordinates must not be settled in the news media. Confidential and classified records should and must not be divulged to personalities, agencies and institutions outside the Police Service.'
Mrs Mills-Robertson said any such act, which ran contrary to these directives constituted an offence to be dealt with by way of Service Enquiry. "Let us endeavour to put the interest of our organisation before any other interest.' She said though democratic policing invoked an open-door policy, personnel must not allow the exit and outward flow of confidential and classified information into the domain of those unauthorized to access them.
Mrs Mills-Robertson said though the media thrived on information they must ensure that information given to the media were positive and constructive and aimed at promoting development. She said it had been established that some of the recent problems confronting the Police Service were self-made and rather self-destructive. "I am referring to that disturbing phenomenon and dangerous trend creeping into the fibre of our ranks as Policemen and Policewomen, in a rather reckless and mischievous manner, leak out confidential and sensitive information to unauthorized individuals and the media." Mrs Mills-Robertson observed that the motives of personnel involved in these practices are mischievous and diabolic. "It is a manifestation of behaviour fuelled by inordinate ambitions and selfish interest,” she said.
She said the Service would soon start investigations into such acts and those found culpable would be made to face the full rigours of existing regulations. Mrs Mills-Robertson noted that this trend was inimical to the smooth operation of policing in the country and the Administration was determined to rid the Service of this negative development. She said though some Officers came under intense pressure from the media and individuals to divulge information, and they sometimes yielded to such pressures, they must rather be guided by the rules and regulations of the Service.
The DIGP said the Administration would continue to reward those, who worked with honesty, dedication and professionalism and visit appropriate sanctions on those who fell foul of Police ethics and standards. "Let us rather appreciate the enormity of the task of policing in a democratic dispensation and focus on discharging our responsibilities to the best of our ability. We must always strive to collectively protect the image of the Service at all times," Mrs Mills-Robertson said.