Pwalugu (U/E), Nov 12, GNA - Nana Owusu-Nsiah, the Inspector-General of Police, has inaugurated the first police training school for the three northern regions at Pwalugu near Bolgatanga. The building housing the school was a work camp for Daewoo Construction Company who bequeathed it to the Upper East Regional Co-ordinating Council.
To make the structures suitable for its present purpose, the Police Administration carried out a massive renovation exercise with some financial assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the National Governance Programme. Speaking at the ceremony the IGP said the rapid population growth and its attendant high crime wave necessitated the enlistment of more police personnel and an increase in the number of police stations across the nation.
He said the Upper East had very few police stations with most of the districts having just one station, as a result of inadequate personnel and the lack of accommodation.
"In conflict situations and also during elections, the Police Service finds it extremely difficult to raise sufficient personnel to man the various duty points in the region, so personnel are usually drafted from other regions only to arrive too late in most cases." Nana Owusu-Nsiah said as a result of the inadequate police presence in the Upper East, the area had become a place of refuge for hardened criminals being pursued from southern Ghana and from neighbouring Burkina Faso and Togo.
"We must not allow such criminals to use this region as a safe haven to form powerful syndicates and terrorise us," he said.
He told the 150 pioneer recruits in training that they had a challenging task ahead when they pass out, and that as pioneers of the school they were expected to set high standards in all spheres of their police career. They should, therefore, strive to achieve high virtues including loyalty, esprit de corps and dedicated service. The IGP announced that in an effort to resolve the accommodation problem confronting the police service, the government had made some payments to the State Housing Company to put up bungalows for the Service in almost all the regions.
He appealed to chiefs, the Regional Co-ordinating Council, District Assemblies as well as public-spirited individuals and organizations to come to the aid of the school since government alone could not shoulder the entire burden.
The Regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu, appealed to the Police Administration to give priority to applicants from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions when enlisting recruits into the School. He suggested that trained personnel from the School be retained in the region to beef up the present inadequate number of police in the districts.
The Deputy Regional Police Commander, Mr. Sammuel Wudah, said the Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area where the training school was located, has donated a nine-hectare piece of land to the School to be used as a shooting range.
Mr. Wudah cited water shortage as the most prominent problem facing the new institution, and urged benevolent organizations and individuals to help find a permanent solution to the problem.
Tongo-Rana Kwadaan-Tii, Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area who chaired the occasion, expressed concern about the rising incidence of cattle rustling and highway robbery along the Bolgatanga-Tamale main road in recent times.
He said he hoped with the establishment of the Police Training School at Pwalugu law and order would return to the area.