Some of the Ghana police force’s officers have been assigned to perform guard and escort responsibilities for the nation’s banks. It’s a unique arrangement that allows the police department to make extra money to fund operations.
These officers are vulnerable to upcoming armed robbery attacks. To ensure their fundamental defense against attacks, a fully armed police officer with cutting-edge weapons and a bulletproof vest is a requirement.
The unfortunate reality is that police officers performing guard or escort tasks only have access to an AK-47, which serves as their sole form of defense while on duty and leaves them vulnerable to foreign attacks.
Despite the risks, police officers who give their life do not receive any further compensation from the banks while the police administration does.
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One officer told Mynewsghana.com, “If you are lucky and you find yourself at a bank that is ‘generous,’ you are paid 100 cedis a week.”
Another officer bemoaned the risks they face and how the police administration has failed to give them the bulletproof vests they require to stay alive while performing their duties.
“We are just risking our lives, no one even cares, if you get injured or hurt, you are replaced’
The sentiment is one that is shared by a lot of the police officers who find themselves on guard or escort duties and even those not assigned
Between 2020 and 2021 there were heightened attacks on bullion Vans. Police Officers accompanying the money, were attacked by armed robbers and sadly lost their lives.
This forced the administration to talk tough.
The Ghana police service led by then Inspector General of Police James Oppong Buenu threatened to withdraw their escort service unless the banks provided fortified armoured vehicles. The banks were given a two week ultimatum.
The then IGP had described the pool of vehicles used as bullion vans as ‘not fit for purpose’
The Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service, Ken Yeboah, also announced that police officers accompanying ‘bullion vans’ will be well protected. He went further to say that there would be more than one police officer following a bullion van.
That same year, the Bank of Ghana announced in July 2021 that Banks would use armoured bullion vans.
All these directives were not adhered to by the the Bank of Ghana or the police service.
Two years down the line and under the current IGP, George Akuffo Dampare, nothing has changed.
Police Officers still lack sophisticated weapons and bulletproof vest while on guard duties
Lack of motivation, and proper remuneration is why some of the police officers have compromised their positions, becoming accomplices of this criminal gang that is attacking ‘the not fit for purpose bullion vans.
In 2022 the police administration announced that about 8 of their officers were involved in a series of bullion van robberies.
The Police administration arrested four of their officers in a raid to uncover the suspects behind the bullion Van attacks. Two other officers who were suspects were killed during a raid to arrest more suspects.
A number of police officers on these special duties have repeatedly complained about the unavailability of bulletproof vests and sophisticated weapons to protect them on these assignments, aside the not fit for purpose bullion vans.
As the administration sits unconcerned another police officer has been shot and killed in Ablekuma.
How many more police officers need to die before the police administration and the Bank of Ghana take their lives serious?
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