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03.11.2004 Regional News

N/R Police Command poised to combat crime, ensure peace

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Tamale, Nov. 3, GNA - The Northern Regional Police Command is poised to wage a relentless war on crime in all forms to ensure peace and security in the region.

Announcing this at a meeting of Northern Regional Senior Police Officers in Tamale on Wednesday, Mr Ephraim Okoe Brakatu, the Regional Police Commander, said the police had between January 2003 and October 2004 arrested 11 armed robbers, eight of whom had been remanded in prison custody while three had been convicted by the courts.

Mr. Brakatu said with these arrests, coupled with the intensification of the on-going day and night joint police/military patrols, the crime rate; particularly armed robbery in the region had reduced considerably.

"Nevertheless", he said, "robbery cannot be said to be completely eliminated so there is the urgent need to step up our operation strategies to combat this and other crimes to reduce them to the barest minimum".

Mr Brakatu, who is Assistant Commissioner of Police assumed the leadership of the Northern Regional Police Command abut three weeks ago, unveiled the agenda for the meeting, which included professional issues such as security before, during and after the forthcoming general election. Other issues for discussion were combating crime in all forms, discipline and police/public co-operation.

On discipline, Mr Brakatu told the Officers: "As Commanders, you should not compromise on discipline at all", adding: "The state of discipline of any organisation corresponds in many ways, to its effectiveness and efficiencies.

"If we are unable to get our men to behave professionally according to laid-down rules and regulations... then the work entrusted to us would not be well done".

The Regional Police Commander urged them: "You must therefore, resolve when you go back to your stations to wage a relentless war on indiscipline and offer sound leadership by example, which will motivate your subordinates, as well as win the hearts and minds of the civilian population in your areas of command."

Mr. Brakatu expressed the need for mutual co-operation between the police and the public so that, "we can collectively create the right environment for law-abiding citizens of this region to go about their duties without any hindrance".

He said: "We can only win the co-operation and confidence of the public if we are alive to our responsibilities, treat all callers at police stations as potential allies and enforce the laws impartially." He reminded the Officers of the elaborate provisions in the Constitution on the rights, liberties and freedoms of the individual and urged them to be guided by these provisions in the treatment of offenders and detention of suspects in cells.

"Stripping suspects half-naked or at times stripping them naked to their underwears, which is relic of colonial times, should become a thing of the past", Mr Brakatu told them.

Mr Brakatu also called for stronger police/media relations to enhance policing, peace and security in the region.

Asked about the current security situation in the Tamale Metropolis, Mr Brakatu said the residents were enjoying some amount of peace adding, "the security agencies are not resting on their oars". The Regional Police Commander appealed to NGOs and public-spirited individuals to support the government's efforts at providing both office and residential accommodation for police personnel to motivate them in the performance of their duties. Oct. 03 04

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