Dear Mr. IGP, in my early days as a young boy, the level of respect, reverence, and trust people had in a police officer was of a great standard. Upon seeing the police on the streets, people began to align themselves in a disciplinary manner so as not to attract any punishment from the officer. The citizenry believe that the police is there to protect and listen to the complaints of victims and act accordingly, and most importantly, ensure order and sanity in the society.
Over the last few years, the very people who held the police in high esteem have now developed a rather awful point of view about the security force. This has emerged as a result of the shameful and distasteful acts of bribery and corruption and indiscipline on the side of some officers on the roads and in their offices. They have abandoned the “Service with Integrity” mantra and have thrown their ethics to the dogs, and this is a disservice to the nation!
Mr. IGP, one of the pillars upon which your institution was set up by an act of parliament, Act 350, 1970 was to help fight bribery and corruption and extortion of money. Therefore, when your men have little control over such activities or have a penchant for corrupt practices, how then can the citizenry have faith in the Service as a crime fighting and a security promoting force?
As a daily commuter on the Abgado-Korle Bu stretch, I have come across commercial bus drivers, motor cyclists popularly known as ‘Okada’ and even drivers of private cars greasing the palms of police officers in order to get away with road-traffic offences such as overloading, outdated driving license, jumping traffic lights, just to mention few and this phenomena I am certain transpires on most of our roads.
This practice has become a norm on these roads such that each commercial bus driver must give a token every morning before crossing the main traffic light on that stretch or becomes a prey to be fed upon. This most of the time creates heavy vehicular traffic on the highways.
A driver who is found culpable of any traffic offence and is unable to pay the amount given by the officer, is either apprehended or denied of his car keys and license. Adding more pain to the already wounded reputation, your men conduct such activities in most blatant and public manner which adversely undermines the authority of the institution to ensure law and order.
Dear Sir, as you assume office as the acting-in-command and knowing very well the number of issues of public interest on your desk, I would request you add this canker to those list. I’m using this medium to draw your attention to the need of putting in place radical measures and if need be revisit your mandate to guide you in ensuring some level of sanity and discipline of your men in their line of duty as they serve the country and bring back the dwindled reputation, trust and respect to the Police Service in its entirety.
The writer, Edmund Nii Otokunor Sackey, is a level 300 student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.