The Upper West Regional Police Command has expressed worry over the dwindling public confidence in the police.
The Command said the situation is alarming because it encourages crime in the communities as wrongdoings go unreported.
To regain the lost public confidence, the Upper West Regional Police Commander, DCOP Francis Aboagye Nyarko along with his men have begun visiting mosques and churches to interacts with worshippers and collect feedback from them on how the Service can improve their activities.
The DCOP Aboagye Nyarko said the exercise will not only be in the Regional Capital Wa, but will be extended to other parts of the region as well.
A special Police team comprised of the Upper West Regional Police Commander and his Deputy, the Regional Crime officer, the Regional Public Relations Officer along with other Senior Officers have over the past few weeks visited mosques on Fridays and churches on Sunday as part of the Police’s confidence rebuilding process.
“We have asked the District Commanders to be going to the communities to sensitize them [the public] on the need to report [crimes] to the police. And also, we have decided to go to the churches and the mosques for which we have drawn a timetable,” DCOP Aboagye Nyarko disclosed.
He continued to say that also the visits are to reemphasize the notion that “the police is your friend” and that “any information they [residents] have, they should come to us [the Ghana Police Service. We categorically stated that anytime there was information, they should pick a senior officer they can confide in”. This came to light when the Commander interacted with GBC at Wa.
DCOP Aboagye Nyarko mentioned that the Police with support from the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) is running a campaign to ensure that all tricycles used for commercial purposes are licensed.
He added he will continue to advocate the licensing of all individuals who use the tricycles saying “children under age should not ride ‘Camboos’ [tricycles]. If you want to drive a ‘Camboo’, you should be a licensed driver. The law also says that you should be 18 years and above so if you are less than 18 years, then you are going contrary to the laid down rules that have been enshrined in the Motor Traffic Act so automatically you would be found culpable and when arrested put before the juvenile court”.
The Commander continued that he likes “advocacy and engagement”. So we are now engaging them. At the end of the day, when we find that people are still recalcitrant, then we would start putting them before the courts.
DCOP Aboagye Nyarko explained that as part of efforts to further reduce the incidents of robbery in the Upper west Region, persons found using unregistered motorbikes after 11pm would be apprehended.
This he explained is because most criminals use motorbikes to perpetuate their crimes.
DCOP Aboagye Nyarko was quick to add that even day time, riders without helmets will be arrested as such activities are in clear violations of the law.
The Commander was excited that in collaboration with the Savannah Regional Police Command, crimes that were committed between the Sawla – Wa stretch have reduced. He called on motorists and pedestrians to continue obeying road traffic regulations so as not to fall foul of the law.
Story filed by Mark Smith