At least 15,000 personnel of the Ghana Police Service will be on the streets to ensure a crime-free Christmas in Ghana, the Service said.
The officers are to maintain law and order during the festivities, Ghana police chief James Oppong-Boanuh said ahead of the launch of a special operation dubbed: “Operation Father Christmas.”
Mr Oppong-Boanuh explained in a report that Operation Father Christmas was the special operation triggered every year during the Christmas and New Year celebrations to help clamp down on criminals and ensure public safety.
“We are resolved to deal ruthlessly with criminal elements and their unwanted activities,” he said.
He warned persons with the intention to engage in criminal activities to have a change of mind, as no criminal would be spared as part of the operations.
“Anyone or group of persons who intend to use the Christmas and New Year festivities to perpetrate any form of crime must note that the Police Service and other sister security organisations will deal with them,” he said.
The operation, he said, would bring the police closer to the public and ensure that people celebrated the festive season without harbouring fear of criminals.
As part of the operation, he said, personnel of the Police Service would be deployed to densely populated areas, such as shopping malls, recreational and entertainment centres, the beaches and market centres.
“Operation Father Christmas has become an annual operation strategy of the Ghana Police Service and it is normally rolled out to consolidate peace and security in the country and ensure that the citizenry are safe during and after Christmas and New year,” he said.
In spite of the assurance, the IGP urged the public to take their personal security more seriously and bear in mind that it was their primary responsibility to do so.
He appealed to churches and other religious bodies to manage their security properly and cooperate with the law enforcement and security agencies in the fight against crime.
He commended all police personnel for their commitment and dedication to duty and encouraged them to remain steadfast to the core values of the service .
“All the time remain professional and civil to the public and guarantee their fundamental human rights and freedoms in your line of duty. The Police Administration will strive to support you by giving you the tools to effectively carry out your duties,” he said.
Before the launch of the operation, hundreds of policemen and women paraded some selected streets in Accra, displaying their readiness to fight crime.
The parade, which started at 7 a.m. from the Police Headquarters, took the policemen through the Ako Adjei Interchange to the 37 Military Hospital, the Jubilee House, the Olusegun Obasanjo Highway, the Kawukudi Roundabout, the Accra Girls’ High School, the Pig Farm Roundabout, the Kotobabi Police Station, Accra New Town, the Mallam Atta Market and later the Nima Roundabout.
From the Nima Roundabout, they continued to the Nima Police Station, through the Ring Road Central to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, then to the Kojo Thompson Road, Cedi House, Liberation Road, Parliament House Road, the Castle Junction, the La General Hospital, Jokers, the Danquah Circle and ended at the Police Headquarters.
Source: Daily Mail GH with additional files from Daily Graphic