Source: Today Newspaper - Credible information reaching Today points to a worrying activity of some Batik and Tie-Dye producers at Tafo-Pankrono in the Ashanti region.
Our investigations have unfolded that these Batik and Tie-Dye producers have been dyeing used and faded Ghana Police Service uniforms and caps for sale to unscrupulous persons. Sources close to these
batik and tie-dye producers told this paper that the people in this “illegal” business hire the service of some professional tailors in Kumasi to sew police uniforms, caps, and badges for them on the blind side of the Police Administration.
The sources further explained to Today that some police officers allegedly sell their already used uniforms and caps to these batik and tie-dye producers who in turn dyed them to regain their natural colours before selling them to unscrupulous persons who use it carry out nefarious activities.
Interestingly, the sources revealed “even police personnel patronise these touched-up police apparel.”
According to sources close to the Police Administration, the central government for the past few years stopped giving out uniforms and caps to police personnel, which situation created market for the Batik and Tie-Dye Producers who worked hand-in-hand with some police officers to procure used uniforms for a makeover to make them appear new.
They in turn, the sources alleged, sell the second hand uniforms to some serving police personnel.
“What is worrying is that the producers also sell to criminals who use the uniforms in the commission of crime including armed robberies,” the sources disclosed.
A recent visit by Today to Tafo-Pankrono showed the police apparel on sale with both civilians and police spotted busily patronising them.
According to residents in the area, the Ghana Police Service uniforms and caps have now become common on streets in Kumasi, creating fear of equally being used for criminal activities.
Some new police recruits who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity revealed that after six (6) months of passing-out they had to buy their own uniforms, caps, and boots when the ones given to them by the Police Administration worn out.
But when Today contacted Head in-charge of Public Relations Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Cephas Arthur, on telephone on Tuesday June 16, 2015 he denied that the government had stopped supplying uniforms to the police officers. According to him, the Police Administration indeed supply attires to police officers periodically but was quick to assure his outfit’s commitment to commission investigation into the issue so as to bring the perpetrators to book.
The Police PRO explained that in the situation where the uniforms of the police officers became faded or torn off before the designated period for new ones to be supplied to them, the officers were referred to Quarter-Masters who are in charge of police uniforms for new uniforms.
“We also supply materials of police 'approved' uniforms to all our officers in all the districts for them to be given to the police tailors to sew for them to supplement the police uniforms the officers have...so l can say on authority that all these allegations are calculated attempt to soil the image of the Ghana Police Service," Superintendent Cephas Arthur stressed.
He used the opportunity to issue a warning to private security companies and civilians in the country to desist from flouting the regulations on the use of accoutrements (personnel clothing, accessories etc.,) that bear a close resemblance to that of the regular uniform of any of the state security agencies.
He noted that the, "Ghana Police Service (Private Security Organisations Regulations, 1992, Legislative Instrument (LI) 1571, Section 12(1) states that “no employee of an organisation licensed under regulation 1, shall wear, carry or bear any uniform, cap, badge, accoutrements or other identification mark unless the uniform, cap, badge, accoutrements or other identification mark has been approved for use by the Inspector- General of Police in writing.”
The police spokesperson asserted that failure to ensure the right thing was done could compromise the security of the state as some criminal elements in the private security outfits could use their uniforms to engage in various kinds of crimes.
To this end, he reminded members of the public to desist from wearing clothes that resembled the uniforms of state security agencies as that was also against the law.
He pointed out that the police in recent times apprehended a number of civilians who were wearing apparels such as army camouflages.
The Police PRO also observed that some private security officers wore uniforms that bore close resemblance to those of the state security agencies, and cautioned them to desist from that act.
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