As the police contend with increased crime rate in recent times, former Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has advised the police hierarchy not to underestimate the importance of effective training to the overall performance of Ghana’s security.
Speaking to journalists in Accra on Thursday, Mr. Amissah-Arthur stressed that investing in training was also an investment in proactive policing.
The former Veep, who was once the Chairman of the Ghana Police Council, admitted that the police have always been under-resourced.
“When I was chairman of the council, we procured armoured vests for them and so on. The IGP will be in the Flagstaff House and the Finance Ministry looking for resources, especially for training. I think that people are always looking for transport and so on.”
He reminded that “a world-class forensic lab” was established for the police under the previous government. He however questioned “how useful it has been” considering the lack of the needed skills in running it.
“I think that training is also a very important part. It will not show in new equipment that they can display at the Black Star Square on March 6, but maybe it is even more effective in interdicting the criminals before they are able to do harm to us. I hope they will also put a focus on the training,” Mr. Amisah Arthur said.
Nonetheless, he said the police still had to act effectively to stem the recent crime wave that has seen a number of daylight robberies, some of which have resulted in deaths.
“There must be ways by which the police; either through informants they have in the underworld, through training techniques, through the forensic capabilities, have to be able to stop the people who are committing these crimes,” he concluded.
GHc800m for police
The government has already stated that it will allocate GH¢ 800million to the Ghana Police Service to ensure improvement in its operations.
The amount is to be used for the procurement of modern policing equipment and gadgets, including helicopters and drones, to enhance the capacity of the service in dealing with crime in the country.
Some aspects of this move have received some criticism though.
President IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, urged the Minister of Interior to stop dreaming about procuring helicopters.
Mr. Cudjoe instead advocated for better police visibility on the streets to deter criminals.
“The police service ought to be properly resourced but when they’ve been so resourced, they shouldn’t use it the way they want. They have to be visible on the streets,” he said.