The Ghana Police Service has identified 5,000 potential hotspots out of the existing 26,000 polling stations in the country as against 3,574 in 2012.
According to the police, electoral violence was on ascendency and therefore called for a collective responsibility to reduce such menace during the 2016 election.
Dr. Benjamin Agordzo, Director of Operations of the police Service made this known at a day’s orientation workshop and the introduction of the “2016 Election Situation Rooms for regional co-ordinators of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) in Accra.
Dr. Agordzo noted that some of the criteria the police used in identifying hotspots areas were, the history of electoral violence in the area, conflicts trends between religious bodies, crime rate and also the current trend of verbal communication from such areas.
“We have also identified 1.1 million arms in authorised hands and the presence of some terrorists in the sub-region, which is very worrying,”he added.
He said based on the facts, the service had taken delivery of riot control equipment like helmets, pepper sprays and drones to monitor activities from the police headquarters in Accra.
In addition, he said the police have had engagements with stakeholders and community members, especially religious leaders on electoral offences and its implication in the indentified hotspot areas.
“Regional and Divisional commanders have been trained on the new trends and how to combat such activities to ensure peaceful election in their regions.
Major General Nii Carl Coleman, chairman of the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) said the purpose of the workshop was to train regional coordinators for the upcoming election and how to carry out their roles.
He said the workshop educated members on the laws that governed elections.
According to him, the “2016 Election Situation Rooms (ESR) established by IDEG and CFI was a hub for the collection, collation and processing of field data as well as coordination of election activities and personal.
Major Carl Coleman that the ESR was geared towards sustaining credible election and peace by promoting participation in the management of the electoral process.
By Ernestina A Boateng