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Thieves In Uniform . . . Are Ghanaians Safe?   
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They are supposed to uphold law and order and provide protection or security for the citizenry, but over the years some police officers have abused the trust and confidence the public has reposed in them and have engaged in acts that undermine the integrity of that noble service.

This year has not been an exception. The past two weeks alonehaverecorded three successiveincidentsof policepersonnel orchestrating and executing high-profile crimes in the country.

3 Major police-related crimes in two weeks

On Monday, August 15, 2016, two police officers allegedly attacked a GCB Bank bullion van in a Hollywood movie style at MaameKrobo in the Afram Plains South District of the Eastern Region, leading to the death of the van driver and leaving the police officer escorting the van wounded.

The two officers --- identified as Corporal Elvis Solomon Mensah, a.k.a. Fire; and Lance Corporal Daniel KissiAbrokwah ---- escaped while being transferred from Donkorkrom to the Eastern Regional capitalKoforidua for investigations. They were, however, rearrested and put before a court and remanded for charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and murder.

Earlier this week, two police officersstationed at the Accra Regional Bravo SWAT Unit were arrested by the Accra Regional Police Command for being core members of a car snatching syndicate.

The twoare Corporal BismarkNtim, 32, and Lance Corporal Francis OpokuGyau, 29.

The third incident within the week was the arrest of a police officer by theTema Regional Police Command for allegedlytutoring suspectedarmed robbers in weapon handling and shooting at the Ramseyer Site at Community 3.

The police officer is said to be part of the personnel who were taking new suspected criminals through shooting practice.

In Junethis year,two policemen and three civilians were arrested by the BrongAhafo Regional Police Command for allegedly aiding the robbery attack that led to the death of a police constable at Kwame Danso, near Atebubu, in the BrongAhafo Region.

Constable Frank Edu Eklu was shot and killed while escorting market women in a bus from Kwame Danso to the Atebubu Market.

Police investigations later revealed that the twopolicemen involved allegedly suppliedthe gang with an AK47 rifle thatwas used in the deadly attack.

Experts blame poor recruitment processes

These rising incidentsof police and military involvement in criminal activities is raising fears in the general public,many of whom have raised grave concerns about the development.

Many have attributed the development to the laxed recruitment procedures of enlisting personnel into the police service.

Security experts have pointed to the lack of proper background checks done on the people before they are enlisted.

Others have also blamed the practice where senior officers of the security services are given quotas which enable them to bring people to gain a protocol entry into the services as a major cause.

The experts warn that security agencies risk infiltration by criminal gangs if steps are not taken to curb the situation.

Police blame black sheep syndrome

But Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Cephas Arthur says the prevailing situation is no different from even developed countries where despite the strict recruitment processes, some “bad nuts” still get into the service.

He argued that since there is no art to determine the construction of a man’s mind in the face,it would be a difficult task to screenout criminals who intend to join the police force even if recruitment procedures were stricter.

Although he agrees that the recruitment system could be improved, he added that family and societal pressures onpersonnelare mainly to blame for the few “black sheep”who engage in criminal activities.

He argued that, comparatively, the Ghana Police Service ranks higher in terms of personnel who engage in such misconducts as compared to their counterparts on the African continent.

He added that the fact that police personnel are causing the arrest of their own colleagues engaged in these criminal activities is a good sign of progress.

Additionally, he said the police administration has put in place other measures such as an Inspection and Monitoring Unit to check police conduct.

Cops sacked for misconduct

Last year alone,48 police officers of different ranks were dismissed from the service while many others were reprimanded for misconduct.

In all, 70 officers were reprimanded while 62 had their ranks reduced and four warned and served caution letters.

The crimes of these officers ranged from cases of brutality, harassment, extortion, undue delay of investigations and causing damage.

The action against the personnel, according to Cephas Arthur, is to help instildiscipline and public confidence in the police force.

Source: The Finder

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