IGP advises political parties to break up vigilante groups

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The Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu has advised political parties to as a matter of urgency break up their vigilante groups said to be causing mayhem in the country.

In a press briefing on Thursday, the IGP however could not to give the political parties timelines to break up the vigilante groups but instead urged them “to immediately denounced their own vigilante groups to create the necessary awareness that will embolden the police.”

Mr. Apeatu disclosed that, just a security approach to vigilantism might not be adequate.
“The truth is that if we prescribe a security solution to a politically motivated problem, you may only be reducing the pain but not curing the disease.”
Public concern on political vigilantism has been growing in the past few years with some high profile incidents from groups affiliated to the governing NPP.
Most of these groups are aligned either to the New Patriotic Party or the National Democratic Congress.

Also critics of the New Patriotic Party have questioned the party’s commitment in dealing with vigilante groups after incidents ranging from raids of police stations, courts and regional security councils occurred under their government.
There have been over 20 high incidents of political action with no significant arrests or prosecutions.

In November 2017, the government set up a task-force to investigate some of the vigilante disturbances after public uproar.
Mr. Apeatu said the public support would spur the police on to take some new action against the vigilante groups.
“The collective condemnation [of vigilantism] has given police some impetus to know that the police to begin to think afresh knowing that the public will stand with police in enforcing the law without fear or favour.”

“The police are poised to arrest and profile any group of people claiming to be vigilante groups irrespective of their political affiliation… death in the name of politics will no longer be tolerated in our security setting. We are declaring zero tolerance against political violence and vigilantism.”

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