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17.04.2007 General News

Ban on mobile phones

By Ghana Districts
Ban on mobile phones

In what security analysts believe is a direct response to the image redemption mission undertaken by the IGP, following the recent cocaine-related problems that have besieged the Police, any visitor to the police headquarters is made to surrender his/her mobile phone at the reception before being allowed to enter the main building.

However, DSP Kwesi Ofori, Deputy Director of Police Public Affairs, has rebuffed suggestions that the exercise is connected to the cocaine probes, concerning the secret recordings of some top Police officers and self-confessed drugs barons. He told this paper that the directive is not a new practice but like many sensitive institutions in the country, the service also has the same regulation banning the use of mobile phones on their premises.

According to him, the directive has been there for a very long time and that the new order is only a reinforcement to make it effective.

“The Police Service is not an exception from such institutions and that the practice has been there for a long time just that it has been reinforced to make it more effective”, he stressed.

DSP Ofori explained that the police is one of the most sensitive institutions of State that needs maximum peace and security to carry out its functions, stressing that the measure is only to ensure peace and security for the Police to function well.

He said a system has been put in place whereby visitors to the department leave their cell phones at the reception where the phones are tagged with numbers and a copy issued to the owner for collection at the end of his/her transaction at the department.

He said the directive has so far been effective since visitors to the department continue to comply with the ban. He advised all visitors, especially the media to comply with this directive and not to see it as a means of restricting them so as to promote a health relationship between the two organizations.

In an answer to a question, DSP Ofori said since the directive was reinstituted nobody has ever had any difficulty of retrieving his phone from the reception. He said the system put in place by the department is a very effective and reliable one and therefore hardly would such an incident occur.

To prove the effectiveness of the directive, this reporter had his phone taken from him at the reception before gaining access to the public affairs directorate and latter had it back without any difficulty.

At the reception in a drawer were several different modes of cell phones tagged with numbers with many people at the receptionist’s desk collecting their phones.