The Executive Secretary of the Bureau of Public Safety, Dr Nana Yaw Akwada, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to review police operations that involve dealing with civilians.
According to him, recent trends reveal that each time the police have to deal with civilians, people lose their lives. He revealed that this violates the security service’s mandate of protecting lives and property, hence the need for a review.
“When police operation teams go out, they should not come with dead bodies. That is not done anywhere. When you go out and come with dead bodies, it is a time for the body’s leadership, for the operation commanders to bow their heads in shame because they could have done it other ways without getting dead bodies.
“We are not talking about armed robbery incidents where you have to meet armed robbers and face them fire for fire. Even in those cases, we have had the police getting it so badly that they have killed innocent people. By all means, police modus operandi must be reviewed in this our democracy, otherwise all of us, you and I risk our lives to go about our daily duties legitimately.”
Dr Nana Yaw Akwada
Bureau of Public Safety demands humane treatment of landguards
Reacting to a police operation in Bortianor in the Greater Accra region on June 8, which led to the death of five persons, Dr Akwada noted that although land guards may be a bit difficult to deal with, the police are trained to maintain and manage such situations.
“Are they telling Ghanaians that when they were confronted with this matter and they sat down to plan this operation, confronting them in this manner was the best strategy they could marshal? Respectfully, no. These guys are land guards, they are known in the community and the police intelligence would have led them to know these people and where they live in a single swoop, they could have picked all these guys up individually without a shred of blood dropping.”
Dr Nana Yaw Akwada
Prior to this, the Bureau of Public Safety in a statement called for “independent” investigations into the shooting of some suspects the police said were landguards at Bortianor last week. It stated that similar incidents in the recent past sends fear down the spine as the suspects may be innocent.
Also, the police in a press release justified their actions with the claim that these persons were land guards terrorizing residents of the town.
The Police highlighted that 5 persons have been shot and 4 weapons recovered in its anti-robbery and landguard operation conducted at Bortianor in Accra on June 8, 2023.
In a statement signed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Director of Public Affairs, Grace Ansah-Akrofi noted that “These individuals had been terrorizing residents and landowners in Bortianor and nearby communities”. It stated that suspects upon noticing the police team “opened fire from their hideout, prompting the Police to return fire”.
According to the police, exhibits retrieved from the crime scene included: one AK47 Assault rifle, 10 rounds of AK47 ammunition, one pump action gun with nine rounds of BB cartridges, two pistols with 10 rounds of 9mm ammunition, one unregistered Toyota Tacoma pickup, four motorbikes, three of which are unregistered, a knife and a pepper spray.
Additionally, it revealed that they are however actively pursuing the remaining suspects, some of whom are believed to have sustained gunshot injuries during the operation. Owing to this, it urged the public, especially residents of the Bortianor community, to promptly report any individuals with gunshot wounds who may be seeking medical treatment.