A long-standing tussle over territory between the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and a colony of black flies at a checkpoint near the Sisili River along the Nakong-Tumu Road in the Upper East Region has ended in retreat and surrender by the Police.
The itchy bite of the flies had remained an ever-present nuisance to police officers detailed to the checkpoint and all the measures taken in the past to conquer the insects only saw them resurfacing stronger than ever. The result of the struggle – the police withdrawal from the area – has left residents and passengers along that route in some disquiet about their security.
The Director-General of Human Resource of the GPS, Commissioner of Police (COP) Patrick Timbillah, confirmed this development to the Daily Dispatch during the opening ceremony of a two-week in-service training course organised for 125 police patrol personnel in the Upper East Region. COP Timbillah said the police had shifted from stationary crime check to patrols-only operations to contain the black-fly plague in the area.
“We’ve identified the place (Nakong-Tumu Road) as a high-risk area and the place is being patrolled by the Tumu District Command. What is happening now is more of patrols. They will go there; stay, move and they will change them. The place is being patrolled, non-static, to avoid the plague from the insects,” said COP Timbillah.
The training programme is part of the initiatives of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, to bring policing to the doorsteps of the public. It is expected to take participants through Preventive Policing, Types of Patrols, Patrol Techniques, Patrol Procedures, Road Traffic Regulations, Road Traffic Management, Endurance Exercises and Practical Patrol Duties among other subjects.
The training programme is underway at the Police Public Safety Training School at Pwalugu in the Talensi District. The Director-General also underscored the need for the public to accord the police the corperation needed to curb crime rates in the country.
Addressing the participants, the Upper East Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Simon Afeku, noted that the region had been relatively peaceful due to the “proactive posture” adopted by the police and the cooperation from the public.
“The Police will continue to employ effectively all resources available as well as any available legitimate means at preventing crime. However, this achievement can be enhanced with the necessary support from the community which we police as well as building the capacity [of police officers] and some other commitments from our policemen,” ACP Afeku added.
The District Chief Executive for Talensi, Edward Awunnore, assured the Police of continuous support from the district for successful programmes at the school.
“But when there are issues and you don’t bring them to our attention, we may not know. And when we don’t know, we may not act. And when we don’t act, it may not be deliberate,” the DCE said.