Criminologist and Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Dr. Jones Opoku-Ware, has allegedly claimed that there is no special unit within the police service in the Ashanti Region designed for crowd control.
Speaking on Opemsuo Radio, the Criminologist said, whenever there is an incident, the service just deploys any police officer at all to handle crowd management which in the end escalates the incidents.
With this approach, the police do not have a clear incident plan for managing the crowd but do so with a sentiment which does not help in resolving issues.
Dr. Jones Opoku-Ware stated that, the police in crowd control first need to ascertain information about the people or the crowd embarking on a demonstration and analyze their mood and behavior, and where the crowd does not have deadly weapons, the police must instruct them to disperse. If it fails, the police can then use non-harming weapons like rubber bullets.
He emphasized that, even with the non-lethal weapon like rubber bullet, the police is not supposed to shoot into the crowd. However, where it becomes necessary, they need to figure out those with the intent of causing harm before any action can be taken against them.
According to him, the Ghana Police service is not improving that much in terms of crowd control and situational management.
Dr. Opoku-Ware emphasized that there have been many occasions where the police have adopted hard pressing and lethal weapons in managing and controlling crowds which has resulted in casualties.
This has however sparked public criticisms but the police service does not seem to improve upon its efforts, outputs, and strategies in crowd control, he said.
He insisted that this should be a national concern so that the needed changes would be made in order to see a police service that will be more concerned about proper measures in dealing with crowd management without causing harm.
Source: Opemsuo.Com/ Effah Mensah William.