‘Provide Evidence & Witnesses on Police Extortion’
The Ashanti Regional Deputy Police Commander, ACP Ampofo Duku has charged Ghanaians especially commercial and private drivers to support the police service by providing evidence and witnesses to buttress their claims when police officials on duty collect monies from them.
Some motorists and Ghanaians have expressed their frustrations on how some policemen harass and collect monies from them on roads on daily basis.
It has been reported severally that police officers allegedly take monies from drivers who commit road offences as well as those who move their way through town.
addressing journalists in kumasi ACP Ampofo Duku explained that the police service cannot take any disciplinary action against police officers who allegedly collect ‘bribes’ from drivers on the road.
He added that the service cannot in anyway accept hear- say without any proof to punish suspected officers who take monies from motorists.
‘People come in to report some of these issues without any evidence, when we say proof, we don’t mean real visuals like what Anas did, that is one part of it, but witnesses who could testify that indeed he/she witnessed a police officer taking money from the driver/compliant, before investigations can proceed’, he said.
ACP Duku maintained that victims of police extortion should be able to indicate the specific roads, points, time, day, a police officer took monies from them.
The Ashanti Regional Deputy Police Commander stressed that if this information is given, the commander who was in charge of deployment of the personnel will be able to give out the names of the policemen who were on duty at that particular road, town or village.
‘Police officers go duty by deployment, our men don’t go there on their own helms, they are given permit before they go on a particular road, expect those who go there to do their own illegal businesses of collecting monies from drivers,’ he explained.
He observed that people feel comfortable talking about corruption in the police administration on radio, homes, and offices with family and friends than reporting to the appropriate police authority for sanctions to be taken.
‘Civilians who fall prey to these situations on the roads should be proud and bold to report,’ he urged.
Commenting on the popular saying within the police circles during operations by some policemen ‘money for the boys’, he entreated that ‘if a policeman asks you for ‘money for the boys ignore him or her’.
‘Police men taking monies on roads in Ghana isn’t any news, to the police administration, it has been going on for many years what, but baffles us is that people just come in and complain generally without producing evidence and specifying the exact policeman who took the money. You should have a witness who will say I saw this policeman taking money from driver A or B. In the absence of evidence, we set the suspected police officer free,’ he disclosed.
‘We are committed in solving this issue, if you give us evidence we will take action, the witness/complaint should be able to come to our office and say he/she witnessed the act. It’s just like the law court you can’t just go to court without evidence. In a year action is taken against 20 policemen who are found culpable of this bribery scandal on the roads’.
‘It’s left with the victim to visit the police station to identify the policeman. When we take action against our men, it doesn’t end in the region or district, it goes to the national headquarters as well, so everything should be properly done,’ he stated.