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04.11.2008 General News

Don't politicise crime

Don't politicise crime

The Police Administration has asked politicians to desist from politicising any form of crime in the country and allow it to function as per its mandate.

"They should leave us alone to do our work and we can assure them that we will always live above reproach by being fair, neutral and impartial to all," it added.

The Director of Public Affairs of the Police Service, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kwesi Ofori, made the call in reaction• to calls by the various political parties to the service to demonstrate its impartiality and fairness to all parties contesting the December polls.

The service has come under severe criticisms lately following its handling of various clashes among party supporters, particularly between those of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to the opposition parties, many perpetrators of crime from the ruling party were let off the hook, while those belonging to the opposition side were either maltreated by the police or arrested, detained and made to face the full rigours of the law.

But DSP Ofori denied the allegation and said, "People only perceive this because they tend to politicise what we do by looking at what happens with a political eye and through political lenses."

He said in effecting any arrest, the police did a thorough work to ensure that there was evidence of crime, saying where there was none, they let the suspect go free in accordance with the law.

"By doing this, we are not being partial because we do not consider the party colours of those we find to be infringing the laws of the country," DSP Ofori told the Daily Graphic.

He said the police had never been part of any political party and would not do so under any circumstance.

He added that the police were not directly involved in the elections, saying, "Our duty is to provide security and that is what we are doing, for which we plead to be left alone to do our job."

On the measures the police were taking to ensure the full protection of ballot boxes, he said, "We, in collaboration with the other security services, are going to deploy men to all the polling stations to ensure that ballot boxes are protected and also prevent any violent acts that may disrupt the voting process."

He says there is presently in place a National Elections Security Task Force which is headed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Patrick Acheampong, and which comprises all the allied security forces to ensure a successful electoral process.

Asked whether the Police Service was training special forces to rig the elections in favour of the ruling party, as was being speculated in some quarters, he replied in the negative.

He said the Police Administration had special forces in place at all times which routinely trained in preparation for major events in the country.

"They are a stand-by force which is deployed to maintain law and order when the regular forces are in difficulty and need rapid reinforcement to avoid bloodshed and mayhem," he said.

DSP Ofori described what was being perceived as a special training to rig the elections in favour of one party as ridiculous, a fabrication and an absolute untruth being told to tarnish the image of the police prior to the December polls.


"We have not, in the history of this country, been held responsible for contributing to the rigging of any election and this is not the time for us to do so because it is not part of our mandate," he stressed.

He reiterated his call on politicians to allow the service to function the way it ought to, adding that if they did that all would see how professional the police discharged their mandate.