After the redenomination of Ghana’s cedi it was rumoured the favourite colour of the police was red. Not because of obvious reasons but I suppose the actions and inactions of the many few who policed the streets affirm this superstitious truth. Many times when drivers are stopped by the police, they will prefer to reach for their wallets rather than their licences. An action which is as a result of the revered reputation the police has. We also happen to hear the other police men with ropes on their shoulders who sit in the offices have their share brought to them in envelopes by their ‘errand boys’ on the street. As a result, it is believed that the pockets of the policemen are deeper than any other on earth.
In some cases we can have are police allegedly ‘arresting’ people without a warrant from the courts and giving them a comfy bed in cells for the weekend all because some ‘big man’ is well-connected to some people in government or perhaps knows a police officer. None of these actions can be justified no matter the cause. Detainment for more than 24 hours also happens in this country and we wonder what our constitution says.
It is very disheartening that are police cannot be trusted when it comes to protecting the lives of the citizenry or enforcing the law. It is easier for the police to carry out swift actions of investigation and enforcement when it regards political leaders or people in high authority. As of the 21st century, the police response time is 24 hours! In other words when anything is happening to you and you call the police, you can be sure they will be there in at most the next 24 hours and that is when you are lucky and they decide to come. In other countries, the police response time is 5 minutes and they are even having plans to make it as fast as practicable.
Another burden is trying to get contact with the police when you try to call them. Sometimes you hardly get a response. Even the national emergency line launched by the president is, on some occasions not reached when someone calls them.
I understand the obvious challenges the police face when it comes to equipment and quality of roads to the disturbed areas as well directions to the houses being attacked. It will indeed be of great essence if all the security agencies could have just one contact for people to make their case in times of emergency be it fire, robbery, or the need for an ambulance. America has 911; Britain has 999 and Ghana well I don’t know because the number differs from region to region.
The government through the metropolitan assemblies should also try to provide proper and identifiable street and house naming system that can grant the police easy access to any home should there be a disturbance.
Above all, if the Ghana police wish to gain trust among the citizenry it will depend on them. I applaud their effort of prosecuting and convicting their members who are found guilty in misconducting themselves. They must also put up proper behaviours on the streets rather than arguing with drivers and perhaps begging for money.
It is also truth that some of them serve mother Ghana heartlessly without fear or favour but their reputation have been soiled by the other men who see their stomachs first. Other strategies being put up by the Inspector General of Police is also worth commending.
May their work be fruitful, devoid of political influence and upholding of the law rather than requesting their favourite colour amongst Ghana’s depreciating cedi.
My name is Kotey and I believe in Ghana. Rise we can but when?