The Ghana Police Service has had a challenge with crowd and riot control since its establishment, Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Professor Kwesi Aning, has said.
He has called for a non-stop training programme for the officers to resolve this issue.
Prof Aning made these pronouncements in an interview with TV3’s Roland Walker on the just-ended two-day demonstration organized by members of the Arise Ghana pressure group which ended on Wednesday June 29.
“The demonstrators themselves or the organizers probably, had a large portion of Ghana supporting them. What the average Ghanaian does not want in these expressions of political engagements relates to the violence because it can get out of hands, taking into consideration the frustrations might lead to something that we don’t want. But crowd control and riot control has been the single most consistent challenge to the Ghana Police service throughout its establishment,” he said.
Prof Aning added “Training and a focus on just one or two types particularly with their rather easy love affair with the use of tear gas , probably just one or two types, so they can master the mastery of using tear gas and water canons. But I think it is a matter of training because the demonstrations are going to continue, the population is going to grow, our population is growing so astronomically, our urban spaces expanding in such unplanned, disturbing rate that routine law enforcement is already a problem.”
Meanwhile, the Police have announced in a statement on Thursday June 30 that the number of officers who were injured during the first day of the Arise Ghana demonstration, increased from twelve (12) to fifteen (15).
All the officers are being treated at the Police Hospital with two under going emergency surgery, the Police added.
“We are grateful to our sector Minister, Hon. Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior, for leading a team to visit the officers at the hospital.
“The Police Administration wishes to express its appreciation to members of the public for their show of love and support for the affected officers,” a statement said.
On Thursday June 30 the Police granted bail to 29 persons who were picked up during the protest.
“They were held at four different police stations across the city,” a private legal practitioner Mr Abraham Amaliba told TV3’s Emmanuel Samani on the mid day news .
The 29 persons were kept in police custody after being arrested for breaching the law on Day 1.
The first day of the exercise was marred by chaotic scenes with the pelting of stones and firing of tear gas and spraying of hot water against protesters.
Day 2, whose starting point was moved to the El Wak Sports Stadium as a result of events of Day 1, was held peacefully as petitions were presented to the Ministry of Finance and Parliament.
In a press release on Wednesday, June 29, the Service commended the peaceful outcome of Day 2.
“We are grateful to the general public for their cooperation and understanding in spite of the inconvenience the demonstration undoubtedly caused them,” the release signed by Director of Public Affairs Grace Ansah-Akrofi said.
“Whilst we continue to register our disappointment at the riotous conduct of the demonstrators on the first day, we commend them for their comportment today which, we hope, would provide lessons for future occasions to help deepen our democratic practices as a country.”
Commending personnel deployed onto the grounds, the Service also took the opportunity to wish all injured officers a speedy recovery.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana