The Police Administration has launched an operation dubbed, “Father Christmas 3,” to ensure a Christmas, void of crime and vehicular accidents.
The operation themed, “Increased Police Presence,” basically entails increased number of police personnel and operations in crime and accident prone areas within the country.
Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCOP) John Kudalor, Director General of Police Operations, launching the operation, said although the police were faced with several constraints such as inadequate vehicles, “We will fight crime to the best of our abilities during the festivities.”
He said festive occasions were characterised by security challenges, which demanded a well thought-out plan to ensure that people went about their duties safely.
“The Police shall intensify patrols in our communities, highways and enhance our presence across the country,” he said, adding that the Police Administration had suspended all annual leave for police personnel during the yuletide to ensure a stronger police presence.
DCOP Kudalor urged the public to corporate with the police in ensuring law and order, because the public were usual sources of information to the Police.
“The strategic direction of the current Police Administration is to acknowledge the needed partnership between the Police and the community, to enable us provide policing that addresses local needs,” he said, adding that “The Police intended to use the reward system as a means of ‘enlisting the public in our intelligence gathering drive”.
On crime prevention, the Director of Operations cautioned that people had to be “crime conscious” to avoid falling victim to crime.
DCOP Kudalor cautioned people who drove unlicensed vehicles to be extra-careful because thieves easily stole these vehicles and replaced them with other licence plates, adding that while driving or walking, people should look out for others who might be trailing them on motor-bikes or cars to harm them.
He said while the Police Administration was thankful to government for presenting more vehicles to them, more of such support was needed not only from government, but other organisation to help enhance the operational capacity of the Police.
Assistant Commissioner of Police(ACP) Angwubutoge Awuni, Commander of Mottor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of Ghana Police Service, said highway patrols had been highly increased.
“We assure the public, that the Police Administration is putting in every effort, to ensure discipline and safety on our roads,” he said.
ACP Awuni said drivers of vehicles that were not road worthy, especially those with faulty lighting systems, would be arrested and their vehicles impounded until those defects were corrected.
“Some big trucks that move at night have only one instead of two of their head lights functioning effectively. We would impound them when we find them, and they would only be allowed back on the road when they have corrected those faults.”
He reminded the public that the use of motor-cycles for commercial transportation of human beings, popularly known as “okada”, was un-lawful.
“At the moment, the law prohibits motor cycles from being used for commercial purposes. We would thus in fulfilling our duty of ensuring the law is obeyed, arrest anyone who is caught indulging in the okada business, a passenger or a rider” ACP Awuni said.
The MTTU Commander cautioned the public that riding a motor cycle as a passenger was illegal and taking an unnecessary risk.
“In case of an accident, you would not be covered by any form of insurance since the okada system is first and foremost illegal. These okada riders sometimes drop off people in their houses, take a good look, and come in later with gangs to steal.”
ACP Awuni said while there was a lot of work to be done by the MTTU, they needed a lot of support from government, especially with the provision of vehicles, adding that this was most crucial since patrol duties formed quite a bulk of their job.
ACP Christian Tetteh Yohuno, Deputy Police Commander for Greater Accra Region, advised drivers to fix security devices on their vehicles to make it easy for these vehicles to be tracked down when they were stolen.
He said while the police were doing their best, ensuring security was also the duty of the public, adding that when the public cooperated with the police and showed concern for their own security and safety, the police could work more effectively.
Father Christmas 1 was launched in 2009 and Father Christmas 2 in 2010. GNA