Neighbourhood watch-dog essential for combating crimes – Regional Crime Officer

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Superintendent Kwabena Otuo Acheampong, Regional Crime Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command has urged Ghanaians to form Neighbourhood Watch-dog concept to provide peace and development in their communities.

“I want to encourage communities and residents to form Neighbourhood Watch-dog Committees, so that your neighbour watches over you, and you also watch over your neighbour because when you are in distress, usually you cannot call the police yourself, it is your neighbour that will call the police for you,” he said.

Supt. Acheampong stated this during the fourth “GNA Stakeholder Engagement and Workers’ Appreciation Day,” Seminar at the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency which is a progressive platform created to give opportunity to state and non- state actors to interactive with journalists and address nation issues as well as throw more light on the institutions’ mandate.

The event also serves as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters to the professional growth and promotion of the Tema office of the Agency as the industrial news hub, while contributing to national development.

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

He explained that the nine principles were so intuitive at the time, and obviously based on some significant thought on the topic, that they had 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 and the reasons we exist” he said.

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

Supt. Acheampong noted that the basic mission for which the police existed was to prevent crime and disorder; “the ability of the police to perform their duties was dependent on 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 Crime Officer said, indicated that, there was the need for symbiotic relationship between the population and the police in the fight against crimes in societies.

Supt. Acheampong said, previously, there were bonds 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 contained house, some people don’t even know the names of their neighbours”.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, GNA Tema Regional Manager noted that in any democratic country the media played vital roles in creating, galvanizing and reflecting public opinion.

“Media can also ignite temper among the academia, the scientific world, the business community and other social groups for development. The Government, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders can use the media more effectively as an instrument for social change,” he said.

Mr Ameyibor described the media therefore as a powerful tool which must be used strategically for effective change towards national development although “the media can however become a hot metal which would be difficult to handle or dangerous to manage.

“In modern development therefore you ignore the media at the peril of the state, the organization or an agenda, we must therefore work together, creating an enabling environment for trust and collaboration. Media is simply indispensable for democratic functioning of the state”.

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