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03.04.2012 General News

50million Euro Loan Facility For Police Service To Improve Security

By Albert K. Salia - Daily Graphic
Vice-President John MahamaVice-President John Mahama
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The government has secured a 50-million Euro loan facility to buy 500 vehicles, bullet-proof vests and 1,000 communication gadgets for the Ghana Police Service to enhance its security operations.

The facility, from BNP Paribas, a credit agency, which has already been approved by Parliament, will also be used to buy two patrol boats for the Marine Unit of the service.

The acquisition of the equipment forms part of a major government programme to enhance the capacity of the service and also boost the morale of the personnel.

The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, made this known at the annual West Africa Security Services Activities (WASSA) of the Ghana Police Service in Accra on Friday.

Expatiating on the facility in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, Mr Mahama said the first batch of the vehicles and other operational gadgets would start arriving in the country in April this year.

WASSA is an annual programme meant to refresh police personnel after working throughout the year and reward those who distinguished themselves in their areas of operation.

Mr Mahama said this year being an election one, the government believed that it was important to retool the police, an institution at the forefront of internal security, to position them to fulfil their mandate to the satisfaction of all Ghanaians.

As to why two boats were being purchased for the Marine Unit of the service, he said the world over marine security was part of the responsibility of the police.

He said the boats would be used to train personnel of the unit, while a stock of others would be secured to equip the personnel of the service to function effectively.

According to him, the Ghana Navy was for national defence purposes and had not been trained for pair-trawling and other illegal activities which usually fell under the purview of coast guards.

Mr Mahama said all the security agencies had agreed for that responsibility to be given to the Marine Unit of the Ghana Police Service, hence the decision to bring in the initial two boats for training, while a new fleet would be purchased for operational purposes on Ghana’s coastal and marine waters.

He pledged the government’s commitment to provide the logistical needs of the security agencies, particularly the police, to ensure that they executed their duties efficiently and cited the inauguration of the refurbished Police Forensic and Crime Laboratory as testimony of that commitment.

Earlier, while addressing the personnel during the WASSA, the Vice-President had announced that within three years 947 policemen and women had been dismissed from the service for various acts of misconduct.

While commending the Police Administration for taking the bold step of cracking the whip, Mr Mahama said the move to discipline offending policemen would go a long way to deter others from indulging in acts against the code of conduct of the service.

He cautioned policemen against using the media to settle scores with their superiors, saying that negative attitude tended to breach discipline in the service.

Mr Mahama, who is also the Chairman of the Police Council, said the police had performed tremendously by clamping down on some of the criminal activities that could have jeopardised the lives of the citizenry.

He said apart from providing the service with vehicles, a forensic laboratory and other logistics over the years, the government would continue to provide all the necessary support to enable the personnel to execute their duties efficiently and professionally.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, gave an assurance that in spite of the challenges the service was facing, the personnel would discharge their duties dispassionately during this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

He called on the public to co-operate with the police by providing useful information that would help reduce crime and other acts of indiscipline in the country.

He urged the media to be circumspect in the performance of their duties, promising to deal ruthlessly with any person or group of persons intending to derail the peace in the country before, during and after the elections.

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