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Regional News Sat, 5 Mar 2005

Upper East Police Hold Get-together.

Bolgatanga, March 5, GNA - Mr. Boniface Gambila, Upper East Regional Minster, on Friday reiterated Government's determination to equip the Police Service and other security agencies in the country to enable them to reduce crime to the barest minimum.

He said the benefits of government's well-intentioned policies would not be realized if crime and lawlessness are allowed to take root in Ghanaian society.

Mr. Gambila was speaking in Bolgatanga at the annual get-together of the police, popularly known as "WASSA", held by personnel in the region.

The Regional Minister observed that the nation's security could no longer be entrusted in the hands of the police alone, considering the sophisticated nature crime continued to assume in recent times. He urged law-abiding citizens, therefore, to assist the security agencies in the fight against crime by providing the needed tip-offs.

"The main tool for effective policing is information. The police can only be efficient if we the civilians offer them the needed information with which they can operate," he declared.

Mr. Gambila noted that crime knows no national or regional boundaries, and urged personnel of the police service to map out good strategies with their counterparts in other parts of the sub-region to bring the activities of criminal gangs under control.

He said the situation whereby criminal gangs were always a step ahead of the security agencies in their operations should not be allowed to continue, and commended recent collaborative efforts between the police in the Upper East and their counterparts in neighbouring Burkina Faso.

On government's deregulation of the petroleum business, the Regional Minister explained that it was a well-intended policy which would benefit the national economy immensely in the long run. "Our Government is not the type that would deliberately enact policies to unleash hardship on the citizenry," he said.

Mr. Gambila gave the assurance that government would continue to exercise control over the situation to ensure that private petroleum companies do not arbitrarily increase fuel prices to make life unbearable for the ordinary Ghanaian.

In his address, the Regional Police Commander, Mr. John Yali, acknowledged government's goodwill and commitment to re-tool the police service to enable it to improve its performance.

Mr Yali said the police in the region aimed at reducing further the crime level in the area, but added that the realization of this objective would depend on the availability of logistics, including means of transport and communication gadgets.

He appealed to District Assemblies in the region to help provide accommodation for police personnel in their respective localities, while urging the Regional Co-ordinating Council to support the police with vehicles for highway patrols.

He mentioned smuggling, trafficking in arms, armed robbery and motorcycle snatching as some of the major cross-border crimes in the region, adding that the police had proved themselves equal to the task by mounting constant patrols day and night.

The Regional Police Commander urged local communities to either reactivate dormant Neighbourhood Watch Committees or form new ones to assist the police flush out criminal elements in the area.

He commended media personnel in the region for collaborating actively with the police, especially in educating the public on road safety and other policing activities. He reaffirmed the resolve of his outfit to hunt down criminal elements in the area, and urged the Judiciary to hand down appropriate and deterrent punishment to criminals Prizes were awarded to some police personnel who had distinguished themselves in the line of duties during the past year.

Source: GNA