The Police on Monday April 17 met with the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the National Police Headquarters in Accra.
The meeting which was called at the instance of the Inspector-General of Police was necessitated by press statements issued by the parties and subsequently followed by petitions to the Police Service with each party calling on the Police to arrest certain individuals of the other side for some alleged offences.
At the meeting, both parties were given the opportunity to air their grievances. The main issue raised by them was in respect to comments by some political actors from both sides of the divide considered to be inflammatory.
The Police also briefed them on two strategic interventions introduced by the Police Administration to handle election and politically related incidents as part of the police transformation agenda.
The Police used the opportunity to provide an update on the status of political violence and related incidents recorded during the recent internal elections of both parties. These including the arrest and prosecution of some 14 members of the NPP for disturbances during their constituency election at Enchi and the arrest of 9 out of the 16 wanted individuals for disturbances at the national youth and women organizer polls of the NDC at Cape Coast.
An update was also provided on the status of the 2020 General Election related cases including Techiman South and Odododiodio constituencies and the public will be duly updated on these cases in the course of the week.
The first strategic intervention shared with them was the establishment of the Police Election Security Secretariat to work with all political parties and other stakeholders to enhance the management of security for all elections in the country.
“This is a complete departure from the old order where an election security task force was put together just some months before the general elections.
“Since its creation over a year ago, the Police Election Security Secretariat has worked with the various political parties in their respective internal elections from the polling station, through the constituency to the national executive elections,” the Police said in a statement.
The Secretariat is currently working with both parties on their parliamentary and presidential primaries, the statement added.
It further indicated that the second intervention is the setting up of a dedicated legal team to subject all politically related incidents to legal scrutiny to establish whether there are elements of crime or otherwise before any Police action is taken.
“The Police will therefore not intervene in any situation where there is no criminality involved,” the statement said.
It noted that this is a paradigm shift from the practice in the past where people were arrested in the heat of the moment for politically related incidents as a result of attempts by politicians on either side to whip up public sentiments against the police thereby creating the impression that the Police supports one side against the other. In such instances when no concrete charges can be leveled against such people they are eventually released thereby creating the impression in the public domain as though the police were manipulated in effecting their arrests.
This initiative has been used to analyze all recent cases such as comments made by the Hon. Minister of Food and Agriculture and the Constituency Youth Organiser for the NDC at Suame, among others.
“At the meeting both parties were also urged that with these policing interventions in place, they should do their politics and allow the Police to do policing. We therefore called on them to support us including by criticising us constructively to do a professional job in line with our constitutional mandate.
“As we commend the leadership of the two political parties for availing themselves and contributing to the success of the meeting, we would like to call on Ghanaians to help us in our effort to build an independent Police service which will serve the greater good of the Ghanaian people and not the interest of any individual or group of people.
“Once again, we wish to assure the public that we remain committed to ensuring peace, security, law and order in the country at all times including before, during and after all elections in the country,” the statement said.