The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. David Asante-Apeatu has directed officers of the service not to hesitate to deal decisively with everybody who breaks the law.

They should be firm, impartial and professional to stop the few deviants from holding back the progress of the nation. He said their mantra should now be “zero tolerance for impunity”. The IGP, addressing the opening of a two-day national police command conference in Kumasi, stated that Ghanaians were increasingly getting tired of the emerging recklessness, indiscipline, lawlessness and impunity.

“Transforming Ghana Police Service into a world class police – the role of Regional Commanders” was the theme chosen for the meeting. Mr. Asante-Apeatu reminded them that as they worked hard to win the fight against impunity, lawlessness and violent crime, they needed to be mindful of the rights and freedoms of the people.

They should respect the rule of law in all they did, he added. He outlined performance indicators set for the next four years and these include bringing down crime, making everybody feel safe, earn more public respect and treating the public with courtesy and respect. He told the meeting that looking at the government’s blue print for security sector reforms and the transformation agenda of the service the future could only be brighter.

The IGP noted that this, notwithstanding, it was faced with a litany of challenges – inadequate accommodation and vehicles for effective policing, weakening firepower, budgetary constraints and poor police-population ration. The Interior Minister, Mr. Ambrose Dery, underlined the unswerving commitment of the government to getting the people out of the “fear syndrome into a mindset of peace security and personal safety”.

“It is trite that a peaceful, conflict free and safe macro-environment is a prerequisite to a successful and sustainable development agenda.”  He noted that even though available statistics showed that the police and other security agencies had made Ghana “a safer place” – fewer cases of murder and robbery in the first six months of the year compared to preceding years, the fact still remained that the people “do not feel safe”.

Mr. Dery was convinced that increased police civilian interaction would “bridge the gap between perception and reality”. He said he found it refreshing that the service had accepted the challenge to do things differently, adding that, the IGP was not just committed to doings things right but had in fact started doing things right.

He urged the officers to work together to change the negative perception of corruption that seemed to hang on the service.He used the occasion to highlight the need to recognize and compensate dependents of officers who died in the line of duty.

“Recent occurrences pf attacks and killing of security operatives should stimulate relevant discourse and measures to ameliorate the impact on the dependents of officers who lose their lives as well as injured officers.”