Neighbourhood Watch Committees essential for combating crimes

Ghana Police

The Tema Regional Police Command of the Ghana Police Service has urged Ghanaians to adopt the Neighbourhood Watch Committee which is essential for combating crimes in the communities.

“I want to encourage communities and residents to form Neighbourhood Watch Committees so that your neighbour watches over you, and you also watch over your neighbour.

“When you are in distress, usually you cannot call the police yourself, it is your neighbour that will call the police for you,” Superintendent Kwabena Otuo Acheampong, Regional Crime Officer, stated.

Supt. Acheampong stated at the “GNA Stakeholder Engagement and Workers’ Appreciation Day,” Seminar at the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency which is a progressive media caucus platform created to allow state and non-state actors to interact with journalists and address national issues.

The Tema Regional Crime Officer said the contribution of neighbours will complement the efforts of police in tackling criminal activities in the community adding when community policing is appropriately coordinated and implemented, it “was a sure way of making communities peaceful”.

He quoted Sir Robert Peel, acknowledged as the father of modern policing in the world’s Peel’s Nine Principles of Law Enforcement, noting that “The police are the public and the public are the police”.

The Tema Regional Crime Officer explained that these nine principles were so intuitive, that they have remained as the main ingredient for police success over the last two centuries in all democratic countries across the world.

“Police leaders top-down still use and quote them frequently as good reminders of community policing,” he said.

He revealed that the principles hinge on crime prevention, community trust and engagement, reasonable force is a last resort, impartiality without favour, never above the law, the police are the public and the public are the police and efficiency through crime prevention.

Supt. Acheampong noted that the basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder; “the ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

“Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force”.

This axiom, the Tema Regional Crime Officer said, indicated that, there was a need for a symbiotic relationship between the population and the police in the fight against crimes in our societies.

Supt. Acheampong said, previously, there was some kind of bond between people living in a particular community because they interacted and shared ideas among themselves as a result, the community members knew themselves and could identify foreigners in the community.

He added that “now, because of modernization, everybody is living in a self-fenced house, with some not even knowing the names of their neighbours”.

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