By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
Director General of Public Affairs and Communications, Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu has called for better collaboration between the media and the police to effectively fight crime and ensure national security.
ACP Eklu said both the media and police basically have a common goal of safeguarding the peace and security of the country though they approach their duties differently.
According to him, “it is the duty of the police to prevent crimes, protect lives and properties and when we are unable to prevent crimes, we investigate to identify the perpetrators to face the law” adding, “and the media as you know also serve similar interest.”
He mentioned that “there’s a symbiotic relationship between the police and the media” and so the need to work together to identify a national cause, stressing, “the police need the media same way as the media need the police.”
ACP Eklu said this while interacting with Volta Region journalists on Thursday in Ho. The interaction was aimed at having an insight into the relationship between the media and the police in the region and to deliberate on ways to foster closer relationship between them.
The interaction also sought the views of the journalists on a number of issues including their (the journalists) relationship with the police in the region, how the media operate in the region, and whether the police had been helpful to the citizens.
ACP David Eklu encouraged the media to continue keeping duty bearers including the police, on their toes as is their mandate as the fourth estate of the realm.
He however cautioned them to be circumspect in their reportage adding that though the “media is an effective tool for effective policing, poor handling of reportage” can have grave consequences for the security of this country” just as will be the case if police officers do not handle their weapons properly and act professionally.
He underscored the need for the media to win the trust of the people, citing the recent incident where the outgone Volta Regional Police Commander, DCOP F.E Doku was recorded and aired when he trusted the word of the media that the particular conversation was “off record.”
ACP Eklu said this act could result in mistrust in the media and though it might not be the entire police administration, individual officers might be unwilling to engage the media for fear of being caught unawares, thus, affecting the level of education the citizens must receive from the police through the media.
Chairman for Volta Region Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr A.B. Kafui Kanyi expressed gratitude to ACP Eklu for his visit to the region and disclosed that the journalists in the region have for many years, had cordial relationship with the police.
He described as unfortunate the recent incident where DCOP Doku’s off record conversation with journalists was aired, saying it was unintentional.
“What happened the last time was unfortunate. It was also because where the first report came from, that individual wasn’t around when the off record signal was given. So, having heard later that the issue had been flagged to be off record, he quickly approached the GJA that we should lead him to the Police Command for him to apologise, which we did.
“At that level, the Command welcomed us and we ironed out the differences and moved on,” he added.
Mr Kanyi explained that further airing of the voice did not come from reporters from the region but media houses in the national capital.
“It’s rather unfortunate that some radio stations in Accra kept using it and GJA had to call the national to prevent further airing of the voice.”
He promised that the media in the region will “put the pieces back” to prevent recurrence of that incident and work together with the police as before to ensure national development.