The programme of ‘Ghana Police Watch’ focuses on the response of the Police when a woman under attack from robbers urgently calls for help.
Significantly, the programme highlights the critical importance of knowing and using the POLICE EMERGENCY NUMBERS, 191 (TOLL-FREE on all networks) and 18555 for (MTN and Vodafone). Unfortunately, some members of the public interviewed in the programme could not remember these vital numbers.
Crime rates keep rising especially in the urban centers. In response to this, Ghana Police Service, the institution mandated by the constitution to combat crime and protect citizens, has introduced several new measures to combat this, as part of its Transformational Agenda.
The Emergency Command Centres in the Greater Accra, Northern and Ashanti Regions have been revamped to improve emergency response times and to ensure that help gets to victims of crime promptly.
In a moving testimony, “Lawrencia” (not her real name) recalls how she called the Police emergency number 18555 one late evening when an armed robber jumped her wall and tried to force his way into her house. Within 15 minutes of placing the call to the Police Emergency Command Centre, 3 Police vehicles with armed officers arrived at her house, to her utter relief.
She applauds the Police for their swift response, as well as the professional manner by which the officers carried out the emergency response. She also highlights other important lessons to be learnt, apart from remembering the numbers.
She was calm during her call and managed to give the Police all the vital information they needed to reach her exact location. She also left her phone free after her call which made it possible for the Police to call her back as they drove towards her house.
Significantly, the revamped Emergency Command Center has made an impressive impact in the fight against crime across the country and protecting citizens from robbers, mostly armed and dangerous.
Before the new centre was opened last year, average 1,500 calls were received from the public every day. This has now increased to 7,000 calls a day, thanks to more awareness creation and increased public confidence in accessing police services.
People are recipients of a more efficient service and more confident to call the Emergency Command Centre. “Lawrencia” compares the current professional approach of the Police emergency service to her previous experience.
She found the improvements laudable given the resources constraint of the Ghana Police Service. She makes a plea to members of the public, including children to know and use the Police Emergency numbers. These numbers saved her life, and can also save yours!
The programme highlights the dangers officers face from criminals during whilst responding to emergency situations. For the first time, the patrol officers shot by armed robbers in Accra on 11 August 2018 are interviewed on camera. They gave harrowing accounts of their ordeal but remain committed to protecting lives and property after they get well.
Police Update, a special section of the programme presents a brief report on the ongoing collaboration between Ghana Police Service and Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to combat the illegal use of sirens on the road and other traffic offences.
We see the combined team on the streets enforcing the law. This action has received great appreciation from the public and road uses in particular who are faced daily with sirens from authorized users.
According to the laws of Ghana, only a certain category of people are permitted by law to use the siren on the roads. Regulation 74 of the Road Traffic Regulations 2012 states that, vehicles mandated to have or use sirens include government vehicles used for official purposes by the head of state, police, fire service, ambulance service for hospital or clinic, registered government security agencies and bullion vans registered by the DVLA.
This was the focus of the speeches at the joint press conference delivered by IGP Mr. David Asante – Apeatu and Mr. Akwasi Agyeman Busia, Chief Executive Officer of DVLA.