The Ghana Police Service has revealed their observations two days after the lockdown took effect in the Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi and some parts of the Central Region.
Speaking on Joy FM’s News Nite, Public Relations Officer of Accra Region Police Command, DSP Afia Tenge, indicated although many people have adhered to the rule, others have still not fully complied with the directive announced by President Akufo-Addo.
DSP Afia Tenge said this has, therefore, made the Police carry out a lot of sensitisation to many individuals who breached the directive within these two days.
“Yesterday we did a lot of monitoring and per our assessment, some people who actually did not fall within the exemption opened their shops. So we quickly educated them and asked them to lock up the shops.
“Others also thought that staying at home meant they should not leave their community, so you find them within their community, playing with others hence breaching the social distancing protocol. So we had to educate them as well and let them know that what we are doing is for their own good,” she narrated.
She further added that citizens are taking undue advantage of the exemptions to breach the directive.
“You will see people going to areas that are not supposed to be. We are saying that if you have to even buy anything essential, it should be within your community.
“But people were moving from one place to the other joining vehicles when they do not have to…”
She then said firmer methods will be adopted to intercept people who join commercial vehicles for no reason to ensure the compliance of the directive.
On Friday, March 27, President Nana Akufo Addo in a televised address imposed restriction of movement in some parts of Ghana as a measure to combat and contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Subsequently, a joint military and police taskforce, Covid-19 Safety Taskforce was deployed to ensure the implementation of the directive in the areas to be lockdown.
However, since it took effect, there have been reports of police and military brutalities on people who reportedly breached the rule.
Commenting on this, the Accra Regional Police PRO said, the task force was instructed to do everything within the limit of the law to avoid police excess.
She said: “The instruction was that should anybody flout any of these rules we have a better option of arresting and prosecuting the person as stipulated by the Imposition Restriction Act 2020, which has clearly stated the penalties and punishments as well.”
Meanwhile the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery has stated that security personnel who brutalise citizens will be sanctioned.