The Tema Regional Crime Officer, Superintendent Kwabena Otuo Acheampong has commended the media’s role in nation-building but tasked journalists to use their power and channels to advocate for the Police and other security services.

“Media must use its platforms as a conduit for public education and sensitization on the importance of security in the country,” Supt. Acheampong stated during the fourth “GNA Stakeholder Engagement and Workers’ Appreciation Day,” Seminar at the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency.

The GNA-Tema stakeholder engagement is a progressive platform created to give the opportunity to state and non-state actors to interact with journalists and address national issues as well as throw more light on the institution’s mandate.

Supt Acheampong said security is something that Ghanaians should be interested in, but it seems the two most important things that are dear to Ghanaians are politics and sports.

Supt Acheampong reiterated the call for the reintroduction of the Neighbourhood Watch Committees to provide peace and development in the communities.

“I want to encourage communities and residents to form Neighbourhood Watch Committees so that your neighbour watches over you, and you also watch over your neighbour because when you are in distress, usually you cannot call the Police yourself, it is your neighbour that will call the Police for you,” he said.

The Tema Regional Crime Officer said the contribution of neighbours will complement the efforts of Police in tackling criminal activities in the community, adding that when community policing is appropriately coordinated and implemented, “was a sure way of making communities peaceful”.

Supt. Acheampong noted that the basic mission for which the Police exists is to prevent crime and disorder; “the ability of the Police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of Police actions.

“Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force”.

Supt. Acheampong said, previously, there was some kind of bond between people living in a particular community because they interacted and shared ideas among themselves as a result, the community members knew themselves and could identify foreigners in the community.

He added that, “now, because of modernization, everybody is living in a self-contained house, some people don’t even know the names of their neighbours, this is dangerous”.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, GNA Tema Regional Manager noted that in any democratic country the media play a vital role in creating, galvanizing and reflecting public opinion.

“Media can also ignite tempers among the academia, the scientific world, the business community and other social groups for development. The Government, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders can use the media more effectively as an instrument for social change,” he said.

Mr Ameyibor therefore, described the media as a powerful tool that must be used strategically for effective change towards national development, “the media however can become a very hot metal which would be difficult to handle or dangerous to manage.

“In modern development therefore, you ignore the media at the peril of the state, the organization or an agenda, we must therefore work together, creating an enabling environment for trust and collaboration. Media is simply indispensable for the democratic functioning of the state,” he stressed.