Crime & Punishment of 2014-09-02

The incompetence and corruption must end

A three-day capacity building workshop to help upgrade the skills of road crash investigators of the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) has opened in Kumasi.

It is meant to keep them abreast of standard procedures for criminal investigations, deepen their understanding of road safety measures and the prevention of road crashes.

Performing the opening, Mr Samuel Sarpong, the Ashanti Regional Minister, saluted officers of the department for rigid enforcement of traffic laws that has significantly reduced road fatalities in the region.

He made reference to statistics provided by the National Road Safety Commission at its mid-year meeting in Ho, which showed that Ashanti recorded the highest reduction rate of 43 per cent in road traffic deaths and said credit must go to the police for the achievement.

Mr Sarpong used the occasion to express his discomfort with, what he said were numerous complaints from the public “about flaws and incompetence displayed by most accident investigators”.

“Such professional incompetence creates a whole lot of pain and hardship for many accident victims.”

He criticized reports about widespread extortion, twisting of facts and other bad practices by some traffic investigators and urged the police administration to tackle the lapses.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Angwubutoge Awuni, Director-General of the MTTD, said the training is meant to re-orient police traffic accident investigators, sharpen their skills on the new perspective in respect of traffic investigation and bring this to bear on their handling of cases.

It will aid them to overcome their deficiencies to give justice to victims of traffic crashes.

He noted that “sketches of accident scenes, which most often than not serve as court bond of evidence for prosecution of accident cases have been bereft of meaning and interpretation”.

The Director-General also spoke of how corruption, nepotism, and falsification of facts, were creating image problems for the police service and said “we need to take appropriate steps to remedy these unpalatable situations and correct this anomaly, hence the training programme”.

DCOP Kofi Boakye, the Ashanti Regional Commander, warned against acts of indiscipline and said offenders should not expect any protection.

Source: GNA
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