Cletus Avoka being introduced The Minister of Interior and MP for Zebila in the Upper East Region, Cletus Avoka, yesterday at a Regional Commanders' Conference of the Ghana Police Service, descended heavily on the Police Administration for what he termed maladministration and other erroneous practices within the Service.
Speaking at the National Police Headquarters during his maiden visit since he assumed office some two months ago, he regretted that some police officers were victimized due to suspicions of their political affiliations and thus transferred to very far places without regard for their families.
He noted that the time had come for the Police Service to have an in-house cleaning exercise to regain the enviable image it used to have among the public.
He urged the Commanders to be bold enough to take initiatives in their various jurisdictions, adding, “you must take decisions and be able to defend them”.
The Minister noted that he was not against transfers but the capricious manner in which they are done.
This, he stressed, must stop.
He disclosed that the Service enquiries were not supposed to last for more than twenty-one days but the police could use more than five years without any result or decision.
He said same about interdictions, and noted that it was better for a decision to be taken on personnel who are on interdiction so they could know their fate.
He was not happy that some policemen instead of protecting the interest of the public were rather adding to the public's problem by aiding armed robbers as well as engaging in bribery and corruption.
The Minister noted that he detested indiscipline and laziness, and urged officers to improve on their knowledge and skills in order to efficiently execute their statutory role in this democratic dispensation.
“There is indiscipline in our society and the Police Service in particular,” he observed, adding that most people have lost confidence in the police.
Though he was worried about the accommodation situation and the deplorable state of some of the police stations, he said the communities in which such police stations are located can help without waiting for government.
He used the opportunity to call on MPs to use their common fund in supporting the police in their various constituencies.
He called on the Acting IGP to ensure that the police did not become partisan in the discharge of their duties.
The Minister pledged government's preparedness to support the police in their commitments.
He was also not happy about how the police handled distress calls, adding, the adage “every caller is a potential ally” has become just a cliché in today's policing.
He maintained that such callers may be of very good use since they often provide very vital information to the police.
The National Security Advisor to the President, Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah also bemoaned the partisan nature of the security agencies in the country, adding that due to the situation, he sometimes found it difficult to advise the President.
He expressed the need for police personnel to be well paid and also retire honourably.
The Acting IGP, Mrs. Elizabeth Mills Robertson also observed that “the Police Service has gone through terrible times as a result of negative unprofessional and criminal activities of some police personnel. There is therefore the urgent need for all to do all it takes to repair and improve the relationship between the Service and the public.”
She mentioned inadequate office and residential accommodation for officers and men, lack of office for newly created divisions, and district stations, absence of infrastructure at some police training schools, inadequate vehicles, non-existence of structures for regular in-service training for personnel, inadequate communication gadgets and relatively poor conditions of service as some of the bottlenecks the Service faced in its struggle to control the spate of crime in the country.
She however hoped that the conference would afford participants a platform to come out with solutions and strategies which would help them to effectively police the country to the satisfaction of all.
Earlier, the Minister of the Interior was escorted by the Acting IGP to inspect a guard of honour.
By Rocklyn Antonio