IGP David Asante Apeatu
It behooves us to acknowledge the interdiction of police officers who assaulted Ghanaian Times reporters by the Inspector General Of Police.
It is not about the assaulting of journalists but human beings whether they are citizens or not by law enforcement agents because it is beneath of police officers to conduct themselves as such.
Although the Chief Constable is only doing his work we must congratulate him for doing just that. Had he ignored the act of brutality by the police officers we would have been frustrated and wondered what has gone amiss; it would have, above all, set an unacceptable precedence and made a mockery of his transformation project.
We would always call his attention to acts of infraction on the part of personnel regardless of their ranks because state institutions of which the Ghana Police Service is a critical part, must not be caught in the web of impropriety.
These defaulting cops must be taken through the laid-down procedures for personnel who fail to live up to the standards germane to the law enforcement system.
We must be seen to be growing in all facets of our national life. Interdiction is the first step in the process to determine their culpability in the case they are being accused of.
For us, should it be established that they did what was reported, they are unfit to continue being in the Ghana Police Service.
Whatever punitive action is taken against these cops, same must be brought to the public domain so that those who might be tempted to do as they did would be guided sufficiently.
Superior officers in command positions must ensure that their men and women conduct themselves properly. Personnel should know that their profession puts a heavy responsibility on their heads. They must therefore be upright and follow the guidelines of enforcing the law. Assaulting, robbery or even renting firearms to robbers are all acts which cannot be acceptable in the law enforcement system yet a worrying number of cops are doing that or have done that before. Those who are unable to abide by the tenets of discipline especially inclined to the Police have no place being in law enforcement and must accordingly be cashiered without delay.
Some Ghanaians who followed the New Zealand police when some Muslims were murdered admired the professionalism which the officers exhibited. The swiftness with which they apprehended the suspect was a thing to admire.
Our elders who can recall the days of colonial administration tell us that under the British officers, cops dared not assault anybody. It was unheard of and never took place.
If today, sixty two years after independence, our police officers descend to this low; we have degenerated as a country and not grown.
The IGP’s transformation project, laudable as it stands, should address this unacceptable anomaly by including a module by which members of the public can present their grievances suffered at the hands of bad officers to higher authority at the Police headquarters, regional, divisional or district levels.