Ada Police: conform to the Public Order Act

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Police
Police

Superintendent Andrea Korjo Mifetu, Ada District Police Commander, has advised the public to get acquainted with the Public Order Act, 1994 Act 491.

The Act mandates that a person who desires to hold a special event in a public place shall notify the police of that intention not less than five days before the date of the special event.

He said the notification shall be in writing and signed by or on behalf of the organiser of the special event and shall specify: the place and hour of the special event, the nature of the special event, and the time of commencement.

Supt. Mifetu noted that the organiser is mandated also to notify the police of the proposed route and destination, and the proposed time of closure of the event.

The Ada District Police Commander stated at workshop organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE in collaboration with the National Security to engage with the Ada District in Inter-Party Advisory Dialogue Committee on national cohesion and peaceful co-existence.

Supt Mifetu who spoke on the Public Order Act explained that the notification shall be submitted to a police officer not below the rank of assistant superintendent or other police officer responsible for the police station nearest to the location of the proposed special event.

“Where a police officer notified of a special event has reasonable grounds to believe that the special event if held may lead to violence or endanger public defence, public order, public safety, public health or the running of essential services or violate the rights and freedoms of any other persons, the police officer may request the organiser to postpone the special event to any other date or to relocate the special event,” he said.

The Ada District Police Commander noted that an organiser requested to postpone or relocate the holding of a special event shall within 48 hours of the request, notify the police officer in writing of the willingness to comply.

“Where the organiser refuses to comply with the request or fails to notify the police officer, the police officer may apply to a Justice or the chairman of a Regional Tribunal for an order to prohibit the holding of the special event on the proposed date or at the proposed location,” he said.

On the control of routes and crowds; Supt. Mifetu noted that a police officer shall take the steps that are reasonably necessary in a public place to assist in the proper conduct of a special event by directing the routes of the event to prevent obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

The police officer in charge of an area of a special event may cause the streets or parts of the streets of that area to be closed to pedestrian or vehicular traffic or both and may cause to be erected the barriers which are necessary to preserve public order.

On the responsibility of organisers and other persons; Supt Mifetu noted that “where at a special event damage is caused to public property, the organiser or any other persons found to have been responsible for the damage caused are liable to pay for the cost of the damage”.

“A person taking part in a special event shall obey the directions of police officers safeguarding the proper movement of any other persons and vehicles and generally maintain order.

“A person taking part in a special event shall act in a manner that avoids causing obstruction of traffic, confusion or disorder,” he said.

Mrs. Lucille Hewletts Annan, NCCE Greater Accra Regional Director advocated the use of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system to settle issues, a system she noted brings more cohesion into the society especially in non-criminal cases.

“As part of its mandate to educate the public on important national issues and to create awareness on the rights and responsibilities of the Ghanaian citizenry, NCCE with support from the Ministry of National Security has embarked on a series of community education and sensitization activities.

The activities largely targeted the youth and citizens in districts of the Oti, Volta, parts of Bono East and Eastern regions, coastal districts of Greater Accra, Central, Western regions, and the border districts of Western North, Ahafo and Bono regions, as well as other hotspot communities and districts across the country.

The programme broadly seeks to promote national cohesion, peaceful co-existence, and countering extremist activities especially in the parts of the country where peace and security are under threat.

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