To have the services of the police on the doorstep of more Ghanaians, the Patrol Unit of the Ghana Police Service has been upgraded to a department with effect from this month.
It was initially referred to as the Patrol Visibility and Accessibility Unit but it has been renamed the National Patrol Department, to be headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police at the Police Headquarters.
The Director Project, and Commander of the Visibilty Patrol Department, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr Sika Nartey, said this at a conference for regional security commanders in Accra to climax the first anniversary of the establishment of the unit.
He said assessment of the work of the unit showed that “we are appreciated by the public as the most effective police intervention”.
The Director General of the Police Public Affairs Directorate, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Reverend David Ampah-Benin, said the mere presence of the police on the streets had given the public assurance of security and safety.
That, he stated, had also improved public confidence in the police and raised the image of the service.
Rev. Ampah-Benin enumerated the achievements of the visibility programme as improved police response to distress calls, a drop in the rate of car hijacking, a reduction in the fear of crime among the public, low rate of vehicular accidents and diminishing rate of pick-pocketing, among others.
“We have established 44 visibility and accessibility duty points within the Accra metropolis,” he hinted.
Modern policing, he said, was now shifting towards proactive policing with the aim of deterring crime, instead of the traditional method of detecting crime after it had been committed.
Though the initiative, which started in the Greater Accra Region, had been replicated throughout the country, the three northern regions were yet to experience the police visibility programme, he said.
“The professionalism achieved at the headquarters is, however, yet to be fully achieved at the regional and district levels due to inadequate manpower, vehicles and communication equipment,” he noted.
To motivate policemen on patrol duties, a concept of a 15-minute rotational rest and a one-day off duty after every six days of work had been introduced, he added.
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