Community policing team to be set up soon – COP Awini

Community policing teams are to be set up soonfor day and night patrols in smaller definedareas within police districts in the country.

The teams,to be known as “Zones” would develop quality relations and rapport with residents and build trust with communities and ensure police work more collaboratively with opinion leaders and state agencies to collectively ensure law, order and security in communities.

The Director-General of the Police Patrols Department, Commissioner of Police(COP)  Paul Manly Awini, said this when he represented the Inspector General of Police(IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, at the launch of an enhanced visibility and community policing strategy for the Ghana Police Service in Accra yesterday.

It seeks to transform the police, make communities safer and help increase the quality of lives of residents.

The strategy also aims at integrating key elements of the community crime fighting and removal of fear of crime initiative.

COP Awini said to further enrich the concept and make it more effective, it had become necessary to increase police visibility in zones where the fear of crime still exists and where crime and anti-social behaviour affect the daily lives of members of the public.

In the past decade, the community policing concept has made significant contribution to crime fighting efforts in the country.

“Several police-community initiatives were adopted in various communities to complement the traditional policing methods,” he added.

COP Awini stated that the building on past community policing experiences in Ghana and best practices, this enhanced strategy emphasises the need for Police to collaborate with the public to identify, prioritise and address their concerns.

He stressed the need for an improved police visibility in neighborhoods in the communities to ensure crimes were reduced.

“The strategy also emphasises crime prevention campaigns in partnership with communities to support the new enhanced visibility patrol concept through Neighbourhood Watch Committees, residents associations, community protection assistants and other stakeholders.

He said district police commanders, who would be the main drivers of the strategy, will be required to develop security and crime prevention plans with stakeholders in their respective jurisdictions.

“These plans shall become their roadmaps and an important element for police accountability,”he added

The Director-General said the strategy is based on research, consultation with police officers across the ranks and was developed by a team of consultants and community policing experts, including both serving and retired police officers as well as external experts.

The Director of the Community Policing Unit, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Laurencia Wilhemina Akorli, urged the public to intensify its collaboration with the police in crime prevention in the communities.

“Crime prevention is a collaborative effective responsibility and the public must support the police to make the communities safer at all times,” She added.

The programme brought together members of the Police management Board, regionalcommanders, and senior police officers, representatives of institutions including Hans Sidel Foundation and the German Development Agency (GIZ).

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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