Maintaining relations with the police; gauging the viable

Sogakope, (V/R) – Every caller at the Police Station is a potential Ally, is the mantra that guides customer service at the Police Station. This inscription is seen on the walls of Police Stations though it seems to be disappearing bit by bit.

Subject matter

I guess that was the Police Services’ way of making the public aware of their importance to the police and how ready the Service is to give a listening ear to anyone who called at the Police Station.

I remember those days that stranded travellers resorted to the Police Station for security and protection, where civilians confided in the police and when every caller at the Police Station was treated with respect, and a fitting professionalism of integrity.

Can that be said of today’s Police Service?

According to some civilians, the service of the police has never been what they think of it. Not until you have an issue with the police, you will never realise maintaining a relation with the police cannot be feasible. The Police Service regards themselves as above the law and try to showcase their power through maltreating civilians at every least opportunity, Michael, a laptop repairer said.

Isaac, a motor rider also said, the adage, the police is your friend does not exist, we are never treated as a rational human being whenever the police arrests us. Some of them do not even give us the room to explain ourselves to them, when we are arrested, yet they expect us to listen and adhere to everything that they say.

Issues

My motorbike was arrested by the police and I was asked to bring the documents to the Police Station. When I went, I was directed to look for a certain police man, I met him and he also directed me to another police and that person also directed me back to the first policeman claiming they are not the one on the case. When I complained, they shouted at me saying I should do what they directed me to do and stop challenging an officer. I spent three days at the Police Station looking for who should check my papers and release my motorbike for me, he lamented.

When the civilians find it difficult to confide and have a good relation with the police, public tranquillity might be at threat.

Chief Superintendent Dennis Korku Fiakpui, Divisional Commander for South Tongu Police Service told Ghana News Agency, the days for such hostile Police Service were over and the perception of the society that the Police Service is hostile does not hold in this current age of policing.

I have not seen such unfriendly police relation with the civilian since I started work with the Police Service and there is the need for society to change its perception towards assisting the Police in fighting crime. We cannot detain you at the Police Station for coming to report a crime going on in the society to us neither would we disclose your identity when you report crime perpetrators to us, Superintendent Fiakpui said.

He said there were instances that the police used force to get responses from culprits, but this are even done to people that the Police are convinced commit crime yet refused to show remorse and try to make the work of the police difficult.

You do not expect the police to be soft on someone like an assassinator. You know very well an assassin would pretend and would make it difficult in retrieving information from them. For such people, the Police have to be a little harsh to make them speak out. I believe when society sees how these people are treated they conclude they would also be treated as such when they get an issue at the Police Station. It is never true and though Police treat stubborn and recalcitrant crime perpetrators this way, they never abuse their right, Superintendent Fiakpui said.

He said society has to change its negative perception about the police and assist the police in fighting crime.

You are always welcome at the Police Station, if you are still not satisfied about your identity protection, you can call 191 or 18555 and report any crime in your locality to the police and don’t forget Every caller at the Police Station is a potential Ally.

The next time you visit the Police Station, check if you are treated as a potential ally.

Source: Ghana News Agency