The Ghana Police Service (GPS) on Wednesday outlined its nationwide security arrangements and protocols to mitigate crime and prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases during and after the Easter festivities.
The security measures will combat crimes such as robbery, stealing, fighting and “landguardism”, and prevent various abuses of road regulations like drunk driving, over speeding, unlicensed driving, jay walking, unlawful use of the siren, recklessness and indiscipline on the road.
The Service will also enforce public gathering restrictions relating to beach gatherings, communal durbars, carnivals, jamborees, outside church crusades, conventions, opening of pubs, night clubs and overcrowding at malls and other public places.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr Kwasi Arhin Annor, Director of National Operations, GPS, said the Easter festivities came along with many activities that could sometimes make citizens less security conscious giving room for criminals to perpetuate all sorts of crimes.
He said the Service was mandated by law to protect the lives and properties of citizens, as such, security personnel including patrol teams would be deployed all over the country to ensure maximum security and safety.
“Most of our officers will be in mufti so that citizens won’t feel intimidated. However, do not be deceived that because you do not see anyone in uniform, you are free to flout the laws of the land. You may not be so lucky and would have an officer closer who would get you arrested,” he said.
ACP Annor advised that citizens adhered to all covid-19 safety protocols for public gatherings, adding that those found not following the protocols would be arrested and processed for court.
“This year’s Easter would be a little different because of the pandemic and so we advise churches concerning crusades and conventions that create overcrowding. If you obey the laws, you are safe but if not, you will have problems with us,” he added.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Kwasi Ofori, Accra Regional Operations Commander, GPS, said the Police was not an enemy of the Church, however, the pandemic called for drastic measures to be taken to curb its spread.
He said Personnel would be deployed at 17 beaches including Labadi, Kokrobite, Bojo, Dansoman, Independence Square, Teshie, Nungua, Sakumono, stretching to Tema and Ada.
“As early as 0500 hours, we will saturate these beaches with our presence to prevent gatherings. The youth in particular should be warned not to fall victim to these restrictions because we will enforce the law to the fullest. Buses and trucks will be available to pick up arrested persons and persecute them,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Martin Aryee, Commanding Officer of Central Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) said speeding was a major cause of road crashes in Ghana, as such, personnel of MTTD would mount check points along various road networks to check over speeding and drunk driving.
He said they would also inspect the wearing of nose masks in vehicles and would pick all drivers or passengers who were not masked.
DCOP Aryee said accident prevention teams would be deployed to ensure that spoilt vehicles were towed to safety and would arrest drivers who abandoned spoilt vehicles without mounting a warning triangle.
He said the operation would be replicated in all the 16 regions.
The DCOP called for cooperation from all for a successful celebration.