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27.04.2007 General News

Security is a right – Interior Minister

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The Minister of the Interior, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, has affirmed that security was not a privilege but a right for Ghanaians to carry out activities without fear of being attacked or intimidated.

The right, he said, had unfortunately been disturbed in the Greater Accra region in recent times with the snatching of vehicles, mobile phones and the menace of land guards among other notorious forms of crime.

“The increasing concerns about safety and security have pushed the Police Administration to relocate policing more firmly within local communities and build trust and cooperation at that level, through community policing," he said at the inauguration of the Greater Accra Regional Police Committee.

The 11-member committee has Sheikh I.C. Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister, as Chairman. It is a constitutional mandate that requires each region to establish a Regional Police Committee that would advise the Police Council.

It has representatives from all the district assemblies, Regional House of Chiefs and the Ghana Bar Association. Also among them are the two most senior Regional Police Officers and a representative of the Attorney General and the Regional Minister as Chairman.

Mr Kan-Dapaah said the concept of community policing was based on the understanding that criminals live in society and were known to members of the community.

"Community members are therefore in a position to play a crucial role in fighting crime by reporting criminals to the police," he said.

Mr Kan-Dapaah said the introduction of community policing would help in augmenting the manpower base of the police, especially at the time when the ratio of the police to the population stood at a low level.

He said: "We therefore want to see Community Policing institutionalized with the prospect of ensuring that it becomes the principal form of policing in the country.”

"It will take away from the supply-side approach to policing and give birth to a demand-side approach, where the communities are consulted in decision-making relating to policing," he said.

He noted that “this will certainly offer a platform for the Police and public to interact as equals and with a sense of shared values".

Sheikh Quaye said the increased sophistication in crime and criminal activities made it imperative that the committee members adapted new and innovative strategies that would match and even pre-empt those activities.

"We will require training and re-training of the Police personnel to enable them cope with the new trends in combating crime and crime prevention," he said.

Sheikh Quaye called on the committee members to bring up useful suggestions that would advance the work of the Police Service in the region towards the maintenance of law and order.

Justice Sam Badu, Chairman of the Police Council, urged the committee members to ensure that the mandate of the police service was carried out effectively and also ensure that the condition of service of the police officers were commensurate with their work.

Source: GNA

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