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23 August 2017

Upper West, Brong Ahafo Regions Hit By Shortage Of Police Officers; Crime Rate Soar

A massive transfer of police personnel out of the Upper West Region without replacement has caused a shortage of officers in the region that shares a border with Burkina Faso.

According to the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, out of a total of 1,500 police personnel stationed in the region in two years ago, only 917 remain to cater for a population of over 700,000.

“Between 2015 to date, about 583 police personnel have been transferred out of the region without replacement,” he said.

The situation is particularly worrying because Burkina Faso is gaining notoriety as a hub for terror strikes.

There are fears that a jihadist cell, which has been blamed for two attacks in the capital Ouagadougou, may sneak into Ghana through porous borders in the Upper West Region.

Burkinabes are still reeling from a suspected Islamist attack that claimed at least 17 lives and wounded several during a raid on a restaurant the capital Ouagadougou.

Burkina Faso attack

The Upper West Deputy Upper West Regional Minister told Joy News Rafik Salam that the crime rate in the region has increased because there have been increased incidents of armed robbery and theft of motorbikes.

“We are very disturbed and very worried,” he said.

Brong Ahafo Region

In situation is not different in the Brong Ahafo Region where only four policemen are responsible for 20 communities.

Also, inadequate logistics, including weapons and ammunitions, makes deployment of the law enforcement officers to public places a tough call.

Joy News’ Mahmud Mohammed-Nurudeen, who traveled to Zabrama, one of the communities in the Brong Ahafo Region, said a police post in the community is in a poor state.

“The charge office and cells are not in the best of shape,” he said about one duty post.

Robust transformation?

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, recently said there are ongoing efforts to make the Ghana Police Service the best in Africa and 10th in the world within three years.

According to the IGP, the Ghana Police Service has been affected by global changes and cannot remain static.

“The service under my leadership is pursuing a robust transformation aimed at actualising the vision of the service that is to be a world class Police Service capable of delivering planned, democratic, protective and peaceful services up to the standard of international best practice.”

He made the revelation during the opening ceremony of a four-day strategic communications workshop for police public affairs officers at the Police Headquarters in Accra on August 8, 2017.

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