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30.12.2005 General News

Interior Ministry to resolve security problems - Minister

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Accra, Dec. 30, GNA - The Ministry of the Interior would next year initiate a national security policy to resolve the mounting security problems in the country.

Papa Owusu Ankomah, Sector Minister, told the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday that a security policy had become a priority because security matters now transcended combating crimes and maintaining law and order, since issues such as HIV/AIDS, unemployment and migration all had security implications.

The Minister said the policy would not only address security matters, but other issues that affected the development of the country as well.

He said the Sector would also set up a Migration Unit that would collaborate with other Ministries, Department and Agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment to have a structured migration policy to check illegal immigrants.

He said the migration policy would provide statistics on Ghanaian immigrants in the Diaspora, and ways to tap their expertise to integrate them into national development.

Papa Owusu Ankomah said: "The Ministry will focus more on peace-building rather than conflict resolution by setting up a peace training centre that would train personnel from each region." He said a secretariat would also be established in each region to gather information on any threat to national security and provide early warnings for immediate conflict resolution.

The Minister expressed the hope that more personnel would be recruited into the Police Service, and would be provided with adequate logistics such as nation-wide communication systems; accommodation; vehicles and a forensic laboratory that would make it easier to detect crime.

"Although the current statistics on Police Officers stands at 17,000, there is still the need to recruit more personnel, as the demand for Police personnel in the communities is high." The Minister said the Sector would be aggressive and robust on activities of land guards, with support from the Land Guards Unit of the Police Service.

He said reforming the Prisons Service also stood high on the agenda, as the Ministry was collaborating with the Prison Service, Police and Judicial Service to facilitate speedy trails and focus on non-custodial sentencing.

Papa Owusu Ankomah announced that the Narcotics Control Board would next year move to its headquarters at the Airport area in Accra. It would establish a Surveillance Training School on ways to track down activities of narcotic dealers.

He said the Ministry would engender confidence of the citizenry in security agencies in the country and called on the general public to support the fight against crime.