A retired commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Victor Tandoh has suggested that the MTTU should be given an autonomous status to effectively deliver on its mandate.
ACP Tandoh made the suggestion at the West African Security Services Association (WASSA) end-of-year get-to-together of the MTTU in Accra on Friday.
It was attended by senior police officers from the Police Headquarters, former commanders of the MTTU and unit and station commanders as well as personnel from the MTTU.
The event is held annually by the various units of the security services to make merry, assess and take stock of the activities of the past year and to initiate strategies for the coming year.
ACP Tandoh, who chaired the programme, in his remark said when given autonomy, the commander and management of the unit, among other things, could take decision and strategies to raise resources to help transform the unit, adding that an autonomous status would give the unit more powers to better regulate the regional and district divisions of the MTTU.
“MTTU is the mirror of the Police. It can be the image builder of the Ghana Police Service, if it is transformed and well resourced,” ACP Tandoh stated.
The former commander called on the Police Administration to clearly define the roles and job description of police personnel of the various units of the service to stop duplication of functions.
ACP Tandoh said currently there were duplication of functions because other police officers perform the functions of the MTTU on the road and at the various road barriers and said any misconduct of the police officers were directed at the MTTU.
He advised the personnel of the MTTU to work hard to achieve higher laurels and avoid acts which could tarnish their image of the unit.
The Commanding Officer of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Angwubutoge Awuni said the autonomous status when granted to the MTTU as had been granted to the Police Criminal Investigations Department, would better placed the unit to deliver on its mandate.
“As a commander, I cannot take any major decision on my own to help revamp the MTTU without recourse to the management of the police Headquarters,” he stated and stressed “this kills initiative and innovation.”
ACP Awuni was worried about the fact that even the request for the purchase of toners had to be directed to the Police Headquarters for approval, saying an autonomous status would address this challenge.
He appealed to government to allocate part of motor traffic fines from court to the Unit to meet its financial needs.
MTTU last year raised GH¢1,008,438 through court fines.
Highlighting on the provisional road accident statistics for the previous year, Mr Awuni expressed concern about the increasing rate of road accidents in the country and said the situation was quite alarming.
He said inspite of the efforts of the unit to ensure that drivers go by road safety regulations, the rate of traffic crashes continued to increase.
The MTTU last year recorded 13,572 road accidents, which is an increase 32 per cent of the previous year.
The accidents involving 19,530 vehicles killed 2,330 people, while 13,272 were injured by the accidents.
ACP Awuni appealed to the Police Administration to provide the unit with the necessary logistics and personnel to enable it operate effectively; explaining that the unit was operating under huge constraints.
For instance, he said the MTTU needed about 5000 personnel nationwide to be able to deliver on its mandate, but currently it has 314.
The Inspector General of Police, Paul Tawiah Quaye in a speech read on his behalf said the Police Administration was committed to resourcing the unit to enable it perform efficiently, saying plans were far advance to procure radar guns, magic torchlight, and video cameras for the MTTU.
Mr Tawiah Quaye implored the MTTU officials to work hard to reduce road accidents in the country, saying the current figures on road carnage were not the best.
He said the Police Administration would launch a Special Road Safety Campaign next week to sensitize the general public on road safety issues.
Mr Quaye warned police personnel to desist from act which would damage the reputation of the Police Service, stressing the Police Service would descend heavily on any officer whose conduct would negatively affect the service.
The Deputy Minister for the Interior, Kobby Acheampong urged the management of the MTTU to come out with a proposal to justify the need for part of court fines to be allocated to the unit.
He advised MTTU to stop crowding vehicles on the road during road checks, saying such activity could cause accidents.