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14.07.2005 General News

Guidelines on neighbourhood patrols reviewed

GNA

Accra, July 14, GNA - Papa Owusu Ankomah, the Interior Minister, on Thursday said the Ghana Police Service has reviewed its guidelines on the establishment of neighbourhood watch committees following a shooting incident at Taifa that claimed five lives.

He said the review was to provide for greater police involvement in the activities of these committees.

The Minister said this when he appeared before Parliament to answer a question from Mr John Mahama, NDC-Bole-Bamboi, who had requested for results of investigations into the death of the five members of the Taifa Neighbourhood Watch Committee at the hands of a police cum military patrol team.

Papa Owusu Ankomah said on the night of June 13, 2002, the joint patrol team, in response to a call for assistance from a resident of Taifa-Burkina in a purported armed robbery incident, encountered a group of seven men in a taxi whom they suspected to be armed robbers. "They exchanged gunfire with the occupants of the taxi resulting in the death of five of them, with two injured."

The Minister said an investigation committee was set up and some recommendations were made, among which was that members of the joint patrol should be reprimanded and dealt with internally for their "unprofessional conduct in dealing with the suspects."

He said the Police Service and the Armed Forces internally disciplined the personnel involved in the incident and the police submitted a docket on the case to the Attorney General for advice.

"There has also been an improvement in the standard operating procedures guiding the organisation of the joint police/military patrols."

"Rt. Hon. Speaker, the incidence of 13th June, 2002 is definitely something which we wish has not happen. As a government, we once again apologise to all those affected by it. It is my hope that as a country we will never have to go through that experience again," the Interior Minister said.

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