Confidentiality is key to police intelligence gathering, especially in our part of the world. The police are unable to gather critical intelligence tidbits sufficiently enough to prosecute their operations because many people do not have confidence that their identities would be kept secret.
Informants have come under fatal attacks because the police have not handled their confidentialities well.
Many Ghanaians would rather shut up when they have clearly seen a crime committed, the reason being that they would not want to be seen as sources of leakages.
The need therefore for us as a people to be supportive of the police cannot be overemphasized. Most criminals would find it difficult to operate if the people in the neighbourhoods in which they reside would be supportive of the police by reporting such suspected miscreants to them. Unfortunately, the ‘mind your own business’ mantra appears to have taken sway in our communities much to the detriment of efficient law enforcement in the country.
In the aftermath of the gruesome murder of Major Maxwell Mahama Adam, we have observed a major breach of confidentiality by a police officer which we must expose and condemn so such anomalies would be curtailed.
Following the fleeing of Denkyira-Oboase in the Upper Denkyira segment of the Central Region by the residents, one of the suspected murderers of the army officer reportedly pitched camp in his girlfriend’s abode at Dominase near Kasoa, in the same region.
The girlfriend whose effort led to the arrest of her boyfriend must have regretted her action. A police officer at the village perhaps out of excitement, has mentioned loudly how the suspect was arrested thereby exposing the woman.
The life of this lady is definitely in danger because the relations of the suspect would target her for causing his arrest; in fact, she could be killed.
The ripple effect of this is that many more would out of fear for their lives, withhold information necessary for investigations and law enforcement because they do not trust the police.
Under such circumstances therefore all of us, not the police only, are the losers. It is our take therefore that the police officer who caused the identity of the informant to hit the public domain should be sanctioned.
It would not be out of place to remind police officers, especially the fresh ones from the training schools, to appreciate the importance of keeping the identities of informants secret. Anything short of this would affect dismally the work of the police and we members of the public would be at the mercy of criminals. This we must guard against by all means possible.
The importance of informants cannot be overlooked in any given society, including ours.
It is the duty of all Ghanaians to cooperate with the police to fight crime but when such cooperation can lead to fatal consequences, then many would remain indifferent; and that should not be the case.