The Director of Police Public Affairs, Superintendent Sheila Kesse Abayie-Buckman has disclosed that 810 persons were arrested by the Ghana Police Service during the partial lockdown for violating the restrictions on movement.
These persons she said were picked up across the country during the lockdown. Speaking in an interview with an Accra based Radio station, she mentioned that 127 cases in relation to the violation of lockdown restrictions were currently at the court.
According to Superintendent Sheila Kesse Abayie-Buckman, persons out of 810 were granted bail by the various courts.
“The number of cases in the court stood at 127 and the number of persons involved in these cases was 810 so out of these, 458 were granted bail by the various courts and the people who were convicted stood at 54. I am sure you heard about the conviction of people who were throwing a party yesterday. So these are part of those arrested,” she said.
Commenting on the claims of wrongfully restricting the movement of people, Superintendent Abayie-Buckman said “We turned buses around for several reasons not only because they were on the road. Let’s remember that there is still enforcement and there was enforcement then on social distancing. So if we see a bus loaded with so many people and in disregard with the social distancing rule we had no option than to return you so that you could do the needful of sitting passengers with enough space according to law.”
She stressed that the police service as a unit that enforces the law has sufficient capacity to interpret the presidential directive and other law being given in the country.
Measures by the police to Ensure Social distancing in Cells
She explained that the Ghana Police Service in a bid to ensure social distancing in the cells has put in place some new measures to prevent the possible spread and infection of the virus.
“Fortunately, police administration made some contingencies even before the restrictions came into force and one of them….was about disinfecting cells, granting bails to people who committed offences that are not serious crimes like misdemeanors so that they would then be arraigned before court and brought before the court from home and screening new suspects before we put them in cells.”
“One of the things that the police commanders did was to, for instance, if I am a commander for Kaneshie Police Station and I realized that I have too many people to go into the cell, I arrange to take them to the nearest police station across the country.”
8,000 frontline police officers ordered to self-quarantine
Meanwhile, about 8,000 frontline police officers in the fight against COVID-19 have been directed to self-quarantine.
“They have been encouraged to self-quarantine and not mingle with people. For Accra, Tema, Kumasi we are looking at not less than 8,000. The Police Hospital takes these samples,” said Superintendent Abayie-Buckman.