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4 March 2018 | Headlines

Helicopters For Police Unnecessary

Helicopters For Police Unnecessary

President and founder of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has asked the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery not to harbour any plans of procuring helicopters for use by the Police Service.

Following the upsurge in armed robbery cases in Ghana, Ambrose Dery said government is in the process of acquiring some helicopters to help the police deal with the robbers.

He said government will procure “about three helicopters … and they will be stationed in Accra with the police and they will help in the backups.”

But speaking on Citi FM's news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday, Franklin Cudjoe advised the Minister to shelf such dreams and put the supposed GHc800 million budgetary allocation to the Police Service to better use.

He insists that despite the negligible allocation, the Police could still greatly improve their visibility on the streets to deter criminals.

“We've heard about some GHc800 million that will be given, the good thing would have been to find out where the GHc160 million allocated last year went. I can say that it's useful but that is nothing because it is about 0.2% of the entire budget for the year 2018. The GHc800 million that will come, please we beg the Interior Minister; he should stop entertaining these dreams of helicopters,” Franklin Cudjoe added.

“The police service ought to be properly resourced but when they've been so resourced, they shouldn't use it the way they want. They have to be visible on the streets,” he added.

GHc800m for police
President Akufo-Addo during the State of the Nation Address in February 2018, indicated that government will allocate some GH¢ 800million to the Ghana Police Service to ensure improvement in its operations.

He said the amount will be used for the procurement of modern policing equipment and gadgets including helicopters and drones to enhance the capacity of the service in dealing with crime in the country.

“The police, the prosecution services and the judiciary owe it to all of us to make us feel and be safe. I do not need to repeat that crime wears no political colours, and I am certain that message has gone down to all…The law enforcement agencies will crack down very hard on all those who would disturb the peace of our nation…We will give the Police the resources they need to do their job,” Akufo-Addo added.

'Wave of robbery'
There appears to be a heightened wave of robbery attacks in the country in recent months with some of the worst cases reported in the last few weeks.

A number of incidents have involved brazen attacks by the robbers on individuals organisations in broad daylight.

A Lebanese was shot and killed at Tema Industrial Area this week with the assailants making away with GHS 200,000 he had withdrawn from a bank minutes earlier

'We're in control'
Meanwhile, the Ghana Police Service has given indications that it is in control of the situation and will go every length to protect the citizenry.

Following the recent developments, the government, together with the various security agencies, announced new steps and directives to address the situation.

The measures include an order for forex bureaus and financial institutions to install CCTV cameras at their workplaces as well as improved police visibility in crime-prone areas.

The top hierarchy of Ghana Police Service has also been reshuffled by the IGP, David Asante-Apeatu with a number of notable changes including George Akuffo Dampare, Director General of Police Operations, being reassigned to head the Police Research and Planning Department.

Contracts awarded to the sister-in-law has raised questions of conflict of interest.