Participants at a forum dubbed, "You and the Police" have called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the continued demand of money from suspects before bail were granted by Police personnel.
They noted that the situation where Police personnel including some senior officers exert pressure on relatives and family members to part with money before the release of suspects was a source of worry.
The forum which was held at Agona Swedru was organised by the Agona District Civic Union and attended by hairdressers, drivers, Chiefs and other identifiable groups as part of the activities marking the Golden Jubilee celebration of Ghana's Independence.
According to the participants, people in the area were going through a terrible situation at the various Police Stations where personnel asked complainants to provide pen and official papers before their statements could be taken.
They agreed that the situation did not lead to good relations between the Police and the public and appealed to the IGP to investigate extortion of money from drivers at checkpoints by personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) on the highways.
The participants also asked the IGP and the Police administration to institute measures to curb the conduct of some police personnel who concealed their identification numbers to escape detection when committing crimes against the public in the cause of performing their duties.
They stated that the Police should be seen as friends of the citizenry and not as enemies to enhance peace and stability in the country.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) B B Bakomora, Agona District Police Commander, pointed out that the services of the Police were entirely free except in few cases and said that even in those cases receipts were issued.
He stressed that there was no law, which enjoined the Police to demand money before suspects were granted bail but explained that a complainant could hire or give money to the Police for transport to arrest a suspect since the Service was facing transportation problems.
The District Commander appealed to the people to assist the Police in the discharge of their duties to protect life and property. DSP Bakomora explained that some "few bad nuts" in the service just like in all human institutions were frustrating the good efforts of the majority.
Seth Boadi, Deputy District Coordinating Director, urged the Police to work hard to redeem its image and negative perceptions for the public to have confidence in the service.
He said a report for the renovation of the abandoned bungalows and offices for Police officers had been submitted to the Regional Minister to be forwarded to the Ministry of Interior to ensure its early completion.