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17.07.2004 Politics

Deputy IGP advised police to ensure violence-free elections.

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Koforidua, July 17, GNA- The Police administration is to ensure a violent-free general election in December this year.

It has therefore cautioned all servicemen to refrain from doing things that might let any of the contesting political parties have doubts about their neutrality and integrity in the electoral process. The Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations, Mr P.K. Acheampong, who gave the assurance, warned service men not to "by words, conduct or demeanour" engage in activities contrary to service regulations.

They must be fair and firm in the discharge of their duties, he said.

Mr Acheampong was addressing the passing out parade for 171 general recruits after a six-month training at the Police Training School at Koforidua on Friday.

A recruit collapsed and was ferried out from the parade grounds when Mr Acheampong was addressing the parade. Not quite long, another recruit was seen resting uncomfortably on his dummy gun, which is used by the recruit for drill and riffle exercises.

He also fell and as he was being helped away, two more recruits were also carried away for similar conditions.

Mr Acheampong continued his speech and commended government for helping train nearly 6,000 policemen to increase the national police strength from 14,000 in the year 2000 to 20,000.

He stressed the need for servicemen to perform creditably to meet the expectations of Ghanaians.

The Deputy IGP advised the new policemen to refrain from maltreating suspects in custody and avoid unjustified denial of bail to suspects as well as using their position in the interest of one party especially in chieftaincy and land cases.

He cautioned the policemen against the HIV/AIDS and said infection rate among the security services now stands at 30 per cent. He advised them to do away with sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol and hard drugs.

Mr Acheampong presented the best recruit and best academic award to General recruit Maxwell Agyekum, while General recruit Amoah Darabor was acclaimed the best graduating recruit in drill whilst Adam Imoro was adjudged the best marksman.

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