The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) says it is elated with the new directives issued by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh to check police unprofessionalism while on traffic duties, highway patrols among others.
The IGP in a statement dated October 15 directed that, with immediate effect, all highway patrols, traffic, barrier, snap checks among others will be supervised by senior officers to check the misconduct by some junior officers in the service.
This, according to the police, is in response to the numerous complaints of police unprofessionalism by the public.
The statement signed by the police’s Director-General of Public Affairs Directorate, ACP David Eklu stated that “additionally, the IGP directs that the senior police officers supervising these duties should make themselves readily accessible to the public in order to receive complaints relating to extortion, deliberate delay of motorists, the use of uncivil language as well as publicly making political statements that have the have the propensity to compromise their neutrality as officers.”
Reacting to the development in an interview monitored by ABC NEWS, the National Vice Chair of GPRTU, Mr Robert Amoah expressed hope that the move will help minimise the level of harassment of drivers by some police officers on the road.
He averred that the senior officers have gone through the rudiments of policing and have the necessary experience to instill discipline.
“For all you know most of them are graduates and therefore they will behave in accordance with the profession they are into. They are very accommodative and can read between the lines. They have taken courses in the area of leadership and cannot stoop so low by moving heaven and earth to find faults with drivers and collect bribes in the full glare of the public.
“They have a name to protect and some of them may be nearing their retirement age and therefore cannot gamble with their reputation,” he said.
“It is a very good news; this is what we have been expecting for a very long time and we doff our hats for the IGP for coming out with this brilliant policy. More grease to his elbow,” he added.
However, a security analyst, Mr Adib saani who reacted to the directive in the same interview on Accra based 3 FM doubted the move was the best of decisions to be taken by the IGP.
He contended that it is not a sustainable solution to the menace of police misconduct, adding that it goes beyond having senior officer on the streets.
Mr Saani believes the training and retooling of police officers will do the magic.
“It baffles my mind the reason or the very foundation of this strategy because it is quite obvious that this cannot be sustained over a period of time and so justifies to some extent the actions and inactions of these junior officers.
“What the police need to do is to put in place a more sustainable and scientific way to deal with the issue of police misconduct and unprofessionalism once and for all.
“The focus should have been training these junior officers, tooling them and nipping in the bud the culture of impunity within the police service. There was so much talk about the provision of body cameras. It is a type of tool that can make officers do the right thing,” he suggested.