Dear IGP, Your Men Are Misbehaving
Disillusionment is setting in after we received with a great pleasure and hope of good times to come news that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, has issued new directives to check extortion and unprofessional conduct by some uniformed police officers and men who are assigned on highway patrol duties, traffic control duties, road barriers and snap checks.
Barely four weeks after that useful directive from the IGP, it has become clear that the unprofessional lot among the Ghana Police Service is back to business as usual. As though that directive was just cheap talk.
The numerous complaints from the public, especially motorists, about the unprofessional conduct of some officers have been on a disturbing increase, deepening the perception of crass corruption among the police service.
These days, some police officers assigned on duties at road barriers and snap checks behave as if it is compulsory to demand money from drivers who use our roads.
The most pathetic victims are commercial drivers who ply their trade at night. Many of such drivers have made it a part of their budget to put aside money that would be given to policemen at snap checks and road barriers.
This is not because the drivers have more than enough but they simply want to avoid the unnecessary delays and other extortion gimmicks adopted by the uniformed extortionists.
This has contributed largely to the dwindling loss of respect and value for the average policeman, who is now generally perceived as an one most likely to pocket some bribe and allow a motorist do the wrong thing.
The New Publisher is not by any means against the police doing its work of ensuring that motorists and road users do the right thing.
What we are against is the bullish and offensive attitude of some of them who have made it a habit to talk down to road users in an attempt to put fear in them so as to extort money from them.
What we are against is the stereotype mentality that every dreadlocks wearing passenger or driver at night is most likely to be carrying some narcotics. Come on!!! Who told such archaic thinking officers that some bald men do not also smoke ganja?
Who even told them that any skinny young man, dressed in casual wear and driving a Toyota Corolla or a Hyundai Sonata is a cyber fraudster and therefore motorists with such looks are prime suspects who should be harassed.
What we are against is the growing practice where commercial drivers have lost every respect for the police service because they have experienced the bribery and extortion gimmicks way too many times.
It is sad that the few bad nuts among police service have given the entire service a bad image, a negative perception that needs cleansing… cleansing that ought to be done with a determined and concerted effort rather than some feeble lips service.