This driver deserves to pay GHC2,000.00 on the spot. No 'go and come'. (Pix by David Andoh)

In Part I, I made the point that the outreach programmes being undertaken by Acting IGP, George Akuffo Dampare, which have endeared him to so many stakeholders, is part of a template for all fresh public service leaders. I noted that it is a nine-day wonder because the core issues will take him away from such outings, once he decides to focus.

I mentioned some of these issues, which include the increasing crime rate and the strategic manner the criminals operate. I concluded Part I thus;

Some even had the guts to steal the mobile phone of a soldier in Wa. Such temerity. In my awe-stricken mode, this statement by my Taxation Lecturer at GIMPA, Mr Ali Nakyea Abdullah, came to mind – “the other name for criminals is, Wealth Redistribution Strategists. Go ahead, don’t hold it. Smile as you wait patiently for Part II.”

Please read on:

Dr. Damapre, I am proceeding in the belief that you read Part I.

So, if we are dealing with Wealth Redistribution Strategists, we have no choice than to be strategic in our approach. With you, a PhD in charge, it should feel like a walk in the park, or?

The proposed strategic approach for consideration

This calls for a lot of ‘out of the box’ thinking. Thus the ‘Big Idea’ for this endeavor is this, ‘use what we have, for what we want’.

Here we go:

  • Review the 5-year National Security Strategy launched recently.
  • Tease out what the Ghana Police Service (GPS) is required to contribute to achieve the vision of the Ministry of National Security. Which is; “maintain Ghana as an open, tolerant, socially cohesive, peace-loving, people-centred, secure, united and prosperous constitutional democracy that upholds the rule of law.”
  • Contact Dr. Felix Anyah of Holy Trinity Spa, Sogakope, for a barter deal- Security training for staff and guests in exchange for a weekend session for the core management team. Make the proposal compelling, such that you do not have to pay any cash whatsoever. Hotel CISNEROS is close by. You can contact Mrs. Glover too.
  • Include five vocal officers from the Constable and Chief Inspector ranks. If allowed, they will tell you the mood on the ground. Sometimes they have the most ‘out of the box’ ideas. Trust me.
  • Ensure that a comprehensive, no holds barred, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis is undertaken during the session in Sogakope.
  • If you are able to do a thorough Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal (PESTEL) analysis, that would be super! If you need a facilitator, I will gladly oblige.
  • Align with the National Security Strategy in developing a 5-year Strategic Plan for the GPS.
  • No matter what you find in the 5-year National Security Strategy, ensure that the following strategic objectives are catered for in the GPS version:

Internal

  1. Staff morale improved
    • Means of verification:
      • Outcome of a survey to be conducted after three years.
      • An analysis of the before and after situations.
  2. Adequate logistics provided
    • Means of verification:
      •  Inventory of logistics before assumption of office and after.

External

  1. Stakeholder confidence in the GPS to fight crime, enhanced 
    • Means of verification:
      • Outcome of a survey to be conducted after three years.
      • An analysis of the before and after situations.
      • Consistent improvement in Corruption Perception Index and level of trust in fighting crime in the Police Service over the three year period.
  2. Crime rate reduced
    • Means of verification:
      • Outcome of a survey to be conducted after three years
      • Reduction in the number of detected cases.
      • An improvement in crime index.

Improving Staff Morale

It is important that morale of staff is improved. That is the only way we can be assured that they have our backs. As a security expert, I have no doubt that you are very familiar with this saying, “A soldier does not go to war on an empty stomach”. In Ga, we say “mlitsiim) akɛkpaa bɛlɛ”.

You cannot expect a hungry and insecure person to guarantee the security of another person. As contained in the vision of the National Security Ministry, security is people-centred.

An American businessman and politician, Doug Ose, puts it succinctly, “a safe, affordable and plentiful supply of food is a national security issue.” The hygiene issues, according to Maslow.

Thus, if a Police officer will not be able to afford such basic things as Pizza or Chicken and Chips, when he or she feels like tasting this trendy snack, then there is a challenge.

This recent delicacy may not be the best meal, nutrition wise. However, if you are in Ghana today, and you cannot eat some occasionally, because of the cost, the young ones will tell you that, ‘you don’t know what’s up’.

My suspicion is that many a Police officer has not tasted a Pizza before. Not because they don’t like it, but affordability is not their best ally. Remember, “….plentiful supply of food is a national security issue.”

If meeting their food needs is a challenge, then we cannot talk about a Police officer owning a Daewoo Matiz car, let alone retiring into his/her own home. That will remain a dream. Unless, they play smart.

Therefore, you can’t expect them to, not use what they have, to get what they want. Actually, you can expect them not to, but don’t be surprised if they don’t.

In my opinion, all it takes to improve morale, is to improve the conditions of service, by using what the GPS has, to get what it wants. This can be done only if there is money, I know. Internally Generated Funds (IGF), is the messiah in this regard.

Currently, I guess the GPS depends largely on Government of Ghana (GOG) subvention. IGF is very negligible. And that is where the issue is. The charges advertised on the GPS website could all do with 100% increases across board, if you ask me – https://police.gov.gh/en/index.php/paid-police-services /

The GPS should be able to generate more IGF and use it to supplement its compensation budget from GOG. GPS should find a way of advertising its paid guard/specie and escort duties to compete with the private companies. Besides, charging GHc700.00 per month per officer for 8 hours a day, is way too low. GHC2,000 will definitely not be too much to ask for.

This is for my education. When the GPS personnel use fuel and man-hours to prosecute criminals, do the fines that the convicts pay, go into the coffers of the GPS? If not, Dr Dampare, please tell them, it is only fair that the GPS gets a percentage.

I referred to the concept of ‘Cash Cow’ earlier. The GPS is not a private entity, I know. Neither is it a profit making venture. I am aware.

But let’s see whether the concept of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) growth-share matrix cannot be employed to identify a source of IGF to boost the finances of the Service.

The BCG growth-share matrix is a planning tool used to help a company decide which services it should keep, sell, or invest more in. The matrix comprises, Star, Question Mark, Cash Cow and Dog.

The ‘Cash Cows’ generate a significant level of income, but do not cost the organisation much to maintain. This is all I need to make my case. Traffic offences form the ‘Cash Cow’. The idea is not new, I think I have heard it suggested before. It is just out of the box thinking- exorbitant spot fines for red-light jumping, drunk driving, overtaking and over-speeding motorists, motorbike riders inclusive. Yes exorbitant.

The MTTD is the tool, so to speak, that can be used to milk the ‘Cash Cow’. Ghanaians, we fear court and prison like children are scared of ‘eemasi’ (Masquerades).  Thus, make motorists who jump the red light pay a spot fine as follows; GHC500 for motorbikers and GHC1,000 for drivers.

From Eric’s Diary: In support of IGP Dampare; Ghana can become a security ‘Heaven’ - Part II
GHC2,000.00 Spot fine (Pix by David Andoh)

Another thing. Deploy a team of photographers and MTTD personnel in plain clothes in unbranded vehicles on the highways every weekend. The photographers will capture overtaking motorists and use motorbikes to chase and arrest them. Once your photo, caught in the act, is shown to you, you pay the fine, go and sin no more. If your reckless act results in death or damage to other motorists, you are not fit to be part of us. So to prison, you must go.

Under this arrangement, there is no discretion for the Police Officer and nothing like ‘master I beg’, no long drawn court cases. The prisons are already too choked to receive more inmates. And please ad your voice to the introduction of non-custodial sentences. It is long overdue.

From Eric’s Diary: In support of IGP Dampare; Ghana can become a security ‘Heaven’ - Part II
When you see the traffic light… Yellow means stop, Red means don’t move, Green means go if the way is clear (Pix by David Andoh).

Here is how the spot fine can be implemented:

  • Get one of these young Ghanaian App developers to develop an App for the spot fine.
  • The App should be able to access the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority’s (DVLA) details of the vehicle and the driver.
  • Payment should be via mobile money.
  • It should be possible to issue an electronic receipt to the payee, just as with any mobile money transaction.
  • Contact the Huawei Company in Accra to install the App on 500 custom- made phones or tablets in exchange for one security service or the other. They may even consider it as Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Deploy the Apps through the Motor Transport and Traffic Department MTTD officials in all regional capitals.
  • Give each MTTD official, 2% commission on the amount they generate per month as extra income. Yes.  The tenderer of the Cash Cow certainly deserves more milk than the others. This will encourage them to rake in more revenue. Then others can benefit, gradually.
  • This idea could do with some tinkering to make it foolproof.
  • Ensure that all the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras deployed across the country, are manned and monitored 24/7.
  • It could be one officer, one camera station. The officer has to note and report offending drivers for tracing and fining.
  • Motorbikes could be used to chase the errant motorists where possible.
From Eric’s Diary: In support of IGP Dampare; Ghana can become a security ‘Heaven’ - Part II
Another GHC2,000.00 Spot Fine (Pix by David Andoh)

Besides increasing IGF, if well executed, this should bring some sanity on the roads. Knowing how my colleague motorists are, I dare say that restoring sanity will take a while. Until then, let’s milk them.

Another source of IGF. I have worked at various places over the past twenty something years. While I have seen Fire Officers come to train staff on firefighting techniques, I cannot say the same for the GPS in respect of security techniques.

How about customized security training for the hundreds of organisations in the public and private sectors at GHC10,000 per organization. Target 100 organisations per year and multiply GHC10,000×100= GHC1,000,000. Given that staff attrition rate is high in most organisations, go back to each organization after two years. This could be a two-hour session with PowerPoint presentation followed by short videos and opportunity for questions and answers.

You could also make a case for every long distance vehicle to have at least one Police officer on board. This could be paid for monthly by the operators, be it VIP, VVIP, STC etc.

If I am not mistaking, it is against driving regulations to drive in slippers. If this is the case, then that’s another source of IGF. A spot fine of GH100.00 for all offenders. The women are the worse culprits and since they fear prison most, they are easy prey.

Once the money starts coming, ‘waawaa’, provide some allowances across board. I bet staff morale will improve gradually.

Adequate logistics provided

“… Money answereth all things”, so says the good book at Ecclesiastes 10:19. Thus, once income exceeds expenditure, there should be enough to supplement GOG allocations for the Service and Investment budgets.

There may not be enough money to buy cars and ammunitions, but the low hanging fruits such as stationery and uniforms should be plucked ASAP. That a Police officer who wants to look sharp must buy own uniform is a ‘no-no’. They deserve to be provided, at least, two sets a year, for free.

I was introduced to the principle of reciprocity, one of the basic laws of social psychology, in my Social Studies class at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ). The principle states thus, “in many social situations, we pay back what we receive from others. In other words, if George Dampare does you a favor, you’re likely to return it to him.”

My experience is that the word likely, is an understatement. The appropriate word is obligated. Once you receive a favour from someone, you are obligated in a manner that mostly, even when the person has committed a crime, your instincts are for him or her.

So, I suspect strongly, that this principle is one of the main hindrances of the GPS leadership, with regards to resource mobilization. Otherwise, many of these corporate organisations have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies that make it possible for them to give products, services and money to organisations that are engaged in social causes.

The GPS is a government agency, evidently, but its raison d’etre is for social good. It should therefore be possible for the GPS to submit proposals to Kingdom Books and Stationery Limited for free supply of A 4 sheets. Buck Press should be able to print Police Statement Forms for free. Melcom Ghana could help with office furniture. The numerous garments manufacturing companies in the Ghana Free Zones Enclave should be able to supply free Police uniforms. Kantanka should be able to help with a few vehicles. I could go on and on.

The strategy session at Sogakope must break this jinx. As noted earlier, a lot of ‘out of the box’ thinking is required. Professor Stephen Adei used that to change what used to be Institute of Public Administration, to GIMPA. Professor Joshua Alabi changed Institute of Professional Studies to today’s UPSA.

These are your colleague PhDs. They did it with innovative thinking. You can do it Sir. Yes you can!!!

Stakeholder confidence in the GPS to fight crime enhanced 

I have said here before that your reputation is what people say about you when you are not around.

I can see that you have heard some of the things stakeholders say about the Service hence your advice, “Let’s shame them, even if someone wants to give you a gift, tell the person that it is enough, because that gift cannot transform your life. What can transform your life is the blessings of God.”

Actually, the kinds of things people say about the GPS are very bad. The negative public sentiments reached its peak during the twilight of IGP Oppong-Boanuh’s reign. And when he made that infamous, “it is only in heaven where there is no crime” remark, matters turned ‘basaaa’- got worse.

Indeed, many people in my close circles have intimated that anytime they have to deal with the Police, they cringe. “That’s because they end up worsening your plight with the go and come, the report is not ready, we don’t have a vehicle, can you arrest the person and bring him? I am the only one on duty,” one person alleged.

In short, the reputation of the GPS is at its lowest ebb. There is no confidence in the Police to fight crime. Thus, most house owners have their own security systems- there is no building in Ghana today, whose doors and windows are devoid of burglar proofing. Walls have ninja barb-wires or electric fencing. Car owners are compelled to spend extra money to install expensive alarms and trackers to prevent theft as well as ensure tracing and retrieval, if the unfortunate happens.

At one of the mini-clinics of this year’s JoyNews Ecobank Habitat fair, a company has had to introduce a facility that makes it possible for homeowners to switch their lights, TV etc on and off when they are out of home. Indeed, one could monitor their home on the go. All this because, the GPS cannot be trusted to guarantee the security of one’s property.

Professor Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, a renowned Security Analyst, particularly had issues with the tone of communication and posturing of the Service’s spokespersons when the bullion van attacks and general insecurity became rife in the recent past. Dr Aning was so irritated that he called for the engagement of a communications consultant to help them in that regard.

Many are those who keep their opinions to themselves. However, the reality is that they have taken their security into their own hands and managing it ‘suo moto’.

But this can change. You and your men should start with a stakeholder perception survey. If scientifically carried out, it will confirm the good, the bad and the ugly. IMANI Ghana, Center for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana) or IDEG could be of help in this regard, pro bono.

You could also continue with the outreach programme in a ‘digitalized’ manner. Open up to the stakeholders, especially the youth, quarterly or half yearly on Twitter- A chat with IGP Dampare. I think you could start with a quarterly session and gradually change to half yearly.

Here is how. Set aside one hour and ask people to send their security worries and respond to them instantly. Before engaging the public, anticipate possible issues by requesting Regional and District Commanders to send you intelligence reports. On the day of the Twitter chat, let them be on standby and supply answers as required through you. 

This will not only make you have a firsthand grasp of the issues, it will further endear you to the general public. For many of these persons, it will be a privilege to interact directly with you. That alone engenders confidence in you and the GPS, significantly.

There are those who may want to throw shades at you and the Service during this encounter, treat them with decorum and assure, that this exercise is aimed at addressing all their concerns.

Once the issues have been laid bare by stakeholders, put measures in place to turn things around. It is after this that the GPS’ publics will recognize the, “…respect and courtesy, …golden words, please, thank you. Words that bring calm and attract attention”.

It is then that, “the public will respect us, the trust in us will deepen, and then when you walk in (neat) uniform out there, doors are opened for you without you touching them.” Otherwise, Sir, please forget it.

While at it, please consider a review of the physical appearance requirements for recruitment into the Service. Most of the men and women do not inspire fear per their looks. Let’s have more well-built men and women. The smallish ones could do with some body building exercises. The drunks must be counselled and rehabilitated. If they cannot ship in, please let them ship out. And the uniforms must be neat.

@marshallappoh

##ghana ##nigeria ##usa ##canada ##police ##TikTok ##funny ##foryourpage

♬ original sound – @teo-Stuntin’

Crime rate reduced

I have been wondering what happened to the concept of Community Watch Dog Committees.

I believe if these committees are vibrant with ‘area boys’ playing integral roles, plus incentives from the ‘haves’ in the community and training by the GPS, crime could be averted.

I say so because, the ‘area boys’ have their ears on the ground. They hear about all the ‘gists’. They will blow the whistle only if there is an incentive to do so. Without that, they at best, leave the ‘haves’ at the mercy of the Wealth Redistribution Strategists. That’s if they are not Wealth Redistribution Strategists themselves.

Police visibility within the communities is critical. It nibs whatever plans criminals have, in the bud. While I was in New York two decades ago, one could see a Police officer in the corner of every block. Well dressed, armed and in bullet proof vest. When you see them, your bad intentions are exposed in your body language. You panic involuntarily.

From Eric’s Diary: In support of IGP Dampare; Ghana can become a security ‘Heaven’ - Part II

With increased IGF. This is possible in GH too.

It’s time to go

After the internal session in Sogakope, I propose a session with external stakeholders such as Prof. Ken Attafuah, Dr. Emmanuel Bombande, Dr. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, Dr. Opoku Ware, Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso and Col. Festus Aboagye (Rtd).

Former IGPS and Chiefs of Defence Staff could also be brought on board. As an Akan, this should be familiar- “tikro nk) egyina”- one cannot have a conference with him/herself. In Ga we say, “jwɛm) bɛ m)kome yitsomli”.

I have no doubt that if the brains of these security experts, together with that of the Police gurus, are stormed vigorously, by the time you depart Sogakope to Accra, the blue print for making Ghana a heaven, security-wise, will be ready for execution.

The last thing. Please put in place, an elaborate monitoring mechanism. It is critical. That’s because I have learnt the hard way that, ‘you don’t expect what you don’t inspect’.

Dr George Akuffo Dampare, you must deliver. Sir, the expectation is high, no doubt. But if you call for help as and when necessary, you will succeed.

That’s because according to the venerable, Nelson Mandela, “Security and safety don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”

PS: I forgot one item on the template for public sector leaders. Change your predecessor’s chair. Have you?

Ciao – That’s goodbye in Italian

Let God Lead. Follow Him directly, not through any human.



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