Ghana’s government has decided to arm all police officers on traffic duties after a spate of attacks.
Five officers have been killed in the past month – including two on Wednesday when criminals opened fire on two officers after refusing to stop their vehicle.
The Ghanaian government is providing thousands of bulletproof vests and is importing weapons for the police.
Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery said the new equipment would enable the police to fight violent crime and defend themselves.
Mr Dery made this known when he joined a delegation of top police officers and some government officials to commiserate with families of the police officers at Dr Jesus and Kakraba, near Kasoa, in the Central Region.
The interior minister said the measure was to enable the police to exercise their right of self-defence.
“It has not been the practice of personnel of the Ghana Police Service to be armed while on such duties but this will change, effective today.
“Because of the experience of Sergeant Dzamesi and Lance Corporal Awal the policy of not arming the police on traffic duties has changed.
From now on, we will insist that police on traffic duties are armed,” Mr Dery said.
The interior minister explained that if the two police officers, who were shot by the suspected criminals, were appropriately equipped and protected, they could have averted the unfortunate incident which took place last Wednesday.
Additionally, Mr Dery said the police would also be required to wear protective gears to ensure they were better protected.