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18.11.2005 General News

Combating crime must be intelligence led- IGP

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Accra, Nov. 18, GNA- Mr Patrick Acheampong, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on Friday held that combating crime in modern times should and must be intelligence led, and should find expression in proactive rather than reactive policing.

"We as security personnel must be several steps ahead of the criminals and effectively nib their nefarious activities in the bud", he said.

The IGP was speaking at the closing of a two-week training programme on investigative techniques for Drug Law Enforcement Units of the security services at the Detective Training School in Accra. The French government sponsored programme, through its Technical Support programme to some African countries, was aimed at equipping detectives, with modern techniques to sharpen their investigative skills in illicit narcotic drug dealings, to enable them to discharge their duties to satisfaction.

Thirty-Nine security personnel drawn from the Police, National Bureau of Investigations, the Narcotics Control Board and the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service participated in the programme. Mr Acheampong noted that fighting drug barons and couriers was not an easy fit, saying, "Until we are able to win the war on narcotic drugs, our streets, communities, and our country will not be safer that they were a decade ago. We need team work to counter it."

He said people in certain communities did not feel safe in their homes anymore because drug barons and couriers were becoming more active, getting bigger, more organized and dangerous. The IGP held that the security services must address the problem, and must arrest all those involved, adding, "We can work together to cut the head of the snake instead of the tail."

He called on the course participants to combine the traditional law enforcement tools with the new investigative skills acquired to prevent drug barons and their cohorts from denting the image of the country, and destroying the youth.

"Perpetrators of this crime cannot hide forever in their homes. They will go shopping, set up bank accounts, buy or import cars, make mobile phone calls, set up meetings, and try to cross borders. "Each of these activities is an opportunity for us together to identify them and stop them from their destructive activities. By sharing information, improving our capabilities and working together, we can and will succeed. Let us continue to protect our country and our citizens."

The IGP told the participants that the onus now rested on them to reciprocate the gesture of the French government by putting the knowledge acquired into practice and working hard as a team to provide the much needed drug free environment for Ghana and the world at large. The Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigative Department of the service, Mr Patrick Ampewuah said that it was beholden of all security personnel to use all available means to met the challenges of drug trafficking and its distribution because of the recent upsurge in these activities, both within and outside the country in recent times.

He expressed the hope that the programme had prepared the participants to unravel the mysteries surrounding illicit narcotic drugs, identifying the numerous methods of concealment by couriers to and from the country, its distribution, and the people behind such crimes.

Captain Michel Pothier, The French Programme Co-ordinator said the result of work of the participants during the course was encouraging, but added that there was a lot more to do in terms of training and hands on experience in the techniques of surveillance. He stated that they must not only be interested in the drugs dealers alone but suppliers, tasking them to go out and look for information within the following weeks, because this was a way of tracing dealers in the streets.

Capt. Pothier noted that the field of investigation required a lot of inputs, because drug traffickers had a lot of money and use the latest techniques in their activities, notably in the area of communications.

He indicated that within the framework of the technical corporation between both countries, the French government had given the police service computers, Very High Frequency handsets and earpieces to aid their work.

He however called on the Service to provide the CID unit with eavesdropping equipment to make their work easier. Participants were taken through key facets of intelligence gathering, surveillance, types of illicit narcotic drugs, trafficking and distribution, and their harmful effects on humans and the economy, as well as modern techniques in drug investigation. 18 Nov. 05