Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) of UK in a joint initiative with the British High Commission (BHC) has organized a two-day course on basic
prosecution skills for Officers of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in Accra.
The training course comes at a time when the service is regularly confronted with a progressive increase of immigration offences, according to a statement issued by the GIS.
There is therefore the need for officers to pursue prosecution of offenders to deter others from committing such crimes.
The statement said at the request of the GIS, the course was organized to equip officers with prosecution skills to prosecute offenders, a step further from the stages of investigation and intelligence gathering skills which the BHC has supported in the past to combat breaches of immigration law and its related offences.
The course is seen as an initial stage for the establishment of a prosecution unit in the service to enforce prosecution and make the functions of the Service more visible across the country.
Speaking in an interview at the closing ceremony, the Criminal Justice Adviser at the BHC, Mr. Roger Coventry, said the course was also to educate the officers on how to properly receive and write caution or witness statements, and the general treatment of witnessed and suspects when arrested.
He said these applied principles, when effectively done from the investigation level, could lead to successful court proceedings and subsequent conviction of offenders.
Mr. Coventry stressed the importance for officers and men not only to be enthusiastic to arrest offenders and suspected criminals but also take measures on getting and preserving evidence and exhibits to prosecute and convict criminals when caught.
The GIS officers were taken through freedom law, criminal law, trafficking law and Immigration law.
Participants were advised by the Deputy Director of Immigration for Operations, Mr. Moses K. Gyamfi, to put into practice what they have studied from the course and help put an end to improper writing of reports for prosecution processes.
The Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of Operations, Assistant Director of Immigration (ADI), Mr Laud Ofori Affrifah, said he was optimistic that the Service was progressively climbing the ladder of success hence called for Officers to be more proactive in the course of their duties.
About 20 Officers drawn from the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), the Ashanti, Western and Greater Accra regions and the GIS Headquarters benefited from the programme.