Police personnel must desist from practices that sought to tarnish the image of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP), Paul Manly Awini, stated.
“We must necessarily do the right things to bring the public to our side to do things that would be pleasing to them before they start respecting us. We have three approaches to use, we want to go back to basis to do the right thing and make sure we win the confidence and trust of the public,” he added.
He gave the advice at the opening ceremony of a five-day training programme on Community Policing for 56 District Police Commanders, Chief Inspectors and Inspectors in Accra Region yesterday.
The programme was aimed at enhancing the skills of the personnel in promoting partnership between the public and the police in crime prevention in the country.
It was organised by the Ghana Police Service (GPS) with funding from German Cooperation (GIZ).
COP Awini, who represented the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, said the GPS was currently embarking on a transformation agenda to position the Service as the most respected institution in Ghana, and a reference point for the rest of the world.
“To be the most respected institution in Ghana is a vision quite peculiar and would recognise that is not something that could be achieved on a silver platter, it can only be attained through intended actions on the part of the police,” he added.
COP Awini said policing was a shared responsibility “between us and the public not just the Police Service”.
He said to make Ghana the most peaceful place on the African Continent “we need the collaboration of the public to be our ears and eyes in various communities to report to us the issues that we need to know and team up with them to address them”.
He urged the personnel to be professional and collaborate with the public in crime prevention, adding that respect from the public could not be bought or obtained out of intimidation, it must be earned through our service.
“We are public servants first and foremost and we are not here to rob it into the public, rather we are here to serve the public and that would bring the respect naturally,” he added.
He urged personnel to interact with the people in the various communities, hearing out their concerns and working towards it.He also stated that “If we are able to implement this very well and work professionally, the people would be able to open up to us and make our work easier. ”
The Director General on behalf of the GPS commended GIZ for supporting the GPS in the areas of training, accountability and community policing.
The GIZ Country Component Manager, Mr Philipp Niehenke, in his remarks, said to build safe, secured and peaceful communities, there was the need for partnership with members of the communities and other stakeholders.
Some of the topics discussed were introduction to community policing, police patrols, Neighbourhood Watch Committees, crime prevention, ethics and professional image, Accountability and Monitoring and Evaluation.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI