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13.02.2006 General News

Remove all unauthorised police barriers - IGP

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Accra, Feb. 13, GNA - The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr Patrick K. Acheampong on Monday directed the removal of all unauthorised Police barriers along the highways to facilitate the free movement of people and goods.

The directive was also to put a check on some police officers who extort monies from motorists and traders.

A statement signed by Deputy Superintendent of Police, David S. Eklu, Director, Public Affairs of the Police Service said Mr Acheampong gave the directive at an emergency meeting with commanders of the Service drawn from the Northern Sector in Kumasi. The meeting discussed strategies and tactics to improve police duties, especially on the highways and their role in assisting revenue collection agencies.

According to the statement the IGP expressed dissatisfaction about media reports on the conduct of some police personnel on duty at barrier posts and charged district commanders to be personally responsible for all temporary check points they mount in their command areas. He stated that under the NEPAD initiative to promote trade within the sub-region, the Police Administration had only approved nine permanent police barriers along the three major highways, leading to Togo, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

'Four barriers have therefore been approved between Accra and Paga, two between Accra and Elubo and three between Accra and Aflao", he added.

The IGP, however, explained that district commanders could mount snap or temporary check points to address specific criminal activities that occasionally occur within their jurisdiction. He warned that these temporarily check points should not be turned into permanent barriers and used to extort monies from those who ply the routes.

"These snap checks should be manned professionally to assure travellers of their safety but not to create unnecessary nuisance to motorist and traders", the IGP stated.

Mr Acheampong also warned police officers not to take undue advantage of the assistance they gave to the revenue collection agencies, by engaging in any unprofessional conduct. He directed that police personnel should not on their own organise operations to check taxes on timber, VAT certificates and documents covering goods on transit, instead, such operations should be initiated by the responsible agencies, with the police providing only support services.

The IGP said the Police Administration was closely monitoring the performance of personnel throughout the country and would continue to reward those who exhibited exceptional skills of honesty, industry and bravery and equally punish those whose conduct brought the Service into disrepute.