Junior officers in the Ghana Police Service on road traffic duties might not be able to undertake a strike action as others are doing but they have the ability to adopt a go-slow attitude towards law enforcement, which they have adopted, much to the chagrin of the Police Administration.
Indications are that police officers in the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) have developed cold feet in the enforcement of regulations in direct response to what befell their colleagues at the hands of Deputy Interior Minister Kobby Acheampong, on the Cape Coast-Accra highway, earlier this month.
Eight policemen were arrested and moved to Accra in an armoured car for, according to the deputy minister, misconduct. They had checked him for over-speeding, a charge he denied.
The affected police officers have been transferred to other locations including those who have less than six months to retire, as a punitive punishment.
Discovering the worrying development, the Police Administration has adopted a subtle strategy to deal with the situation which falls short of begging the angry the cops and apologizing to them for not standing up to the politician.
A correspondence seeking to reverse the trend has already been wired to the various formations, especially on motor traffic duties across the country.
The message originating from a certain Chief Superintendent of Police, Fred Adi Anim, was titled ‘Enforcement of Road Traffic Regulations’ and spoke about disillusionment among policemen.
The correspondence is addressed to all regional, divisional and unit commanders across the country and states “it has come to the notice of police administration that some police personnel have been disillusioned and find it difficult to enforce road traffic regulations following arrest of eight (8) police officers on Cape Coast-Accra road in their encounter with deputy minister.”
The correspondence said, “This has led to a situation where drivers of 4 by 4 vehicles flout road traffic laws while personnel look on unconcerned to check to them (sic).”
“The Police Administration wishes to inform all personnel of their total support in the discharge of tier duties without fear of (sic) favour bearing in mind the need to be civil and courteous to all manner of persons. Regards.
“Originator (Fred Adu Anim (C/Supol)”.
The Police Administration, earlier this month, had to respond to the demand of Kobby Acheampong for action to be taken against some eight policemen who had the effrontery to challenge him for over-speeding, although the minister denied the offence.
A subsequent report established however that he was allegedly enjoying a meal of Fanti kenkey and fried fish at the time the policemen accosted him.
Motorists, especially driving four-wheel drive vehicles have suddenly discovered that policemen do not stop them for the normal routine checks as most of such automobiles are owned by top government officials.
Seeking to recover the confidence of their officers on the roads, the Police Administration assured them of their support in the performance of their duties.
It is yet to be seen how this move can shore the dwindled confidence the rank and file have in their superior officers. The rank and file of the police see the top echelon of the police headquarters as too quick to bend to the whims and caprices of government functionaries.
Kobby Acheampong and his encounter with the policemen on the Cape Coast to Accra road became a sore issue on the political plane when, in his reaction after he was stopped by cops on duty on the road, he called the IGP to report the conduct of the young men.
One of them is on interdiction and the rest have been transferred to various parts of the country, a standard sanction in the Police Service for officers for whom outright dismissal is not a preferred option.
Source: A.R. Gomda
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