There has been an upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country, with the recent ones being the day light robbery on Tuesday at an automobile company at North Industrial Area in Accra, followed by the killing and robbing of a Cashier at Tema of GH¢200,000 meant for the payment of salaries of workers, on Wednesday.
Arguably, there is a sense of insecurity among Ghanaians, security agencies appear to be losing the battle against crime combat. In the eyes of the public the police and related agencies are not doing enough to nip crimes in the bud, through efficient and effective intelligence gathering.
The Ghana Police Service has also complained of lack of logistics and human resources to effectively carry out its mandate of maintaining law and order. Ghana’s police population ratio is about one police man to over 800 people, lower than the United Nations standard of one police to 500 people.
Our information is that efforts are underway to improve the police population ratio and the acquisition of arms and other logistics to improve the operational efficiency of the police service.
The upsurge in violent crimes resulting in loss of lives of innocent citizen and their properties, in recent time has re-ignited the debate, on effective policing and crime combat in the country.
Some school of thought claim that the police administration has been heavily politicized such that they are not able to take decisive steps to deal with crimes that are committed by individuals and groups loyal to the party in power.
Others have questioned why some police personnel they perceived to have endeared themselves creditably are left on the fringes of crime combat, especially with the recent reshuffle which was apparently carried out in line with exigencies of effective management and operational control of the service.
It is the view of a section of the public that the police is reactive than proactive. They are questioning some of the arrests and the gun downs, as they appear to be reactive action following heavy public criticism of their performances.
We must all share in the blame for paying lip-service to security. We have to find the resources to adequately resource the police to guarantee our security. The police must also account to the public for the prudent use of the resources at their disposal.
Furthermore the police must be “depoliticse” and given the free will to operate in a professional manner!!
Policing is a shared responsibility; the public must freely volunteer information about suspicious characters, and in doing so must eschew false whistle blowing that will result in fear and panic.
The criminals that are worrying us are within. They are our own friends, relatives, kith and kins; we must expose them and not provide them a safe haven. We must help in crime prevention and combating through our “Watchdog Neigblourhood Committees.”
Although the reshuffle in itself cannot be a panacea to the current security situation, it is a welcome development that must spur the police on to achieve results.