Excessive use of force, abuse of rights of suspects, extortion of money and demanding money before granting bail have been identified as some of the flaws predominant among police personnel in Ghana.
Others are poor investigation, meddling in civil cases, undertaking unlawful duties and malicious prosecutions.
These flaws were identified after the police administration undertook a critical self-assessment of the past year.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, disclosed this at the launch of a Public Confidence Re-Affirmation Campaign held in Accra yesterday.
The police-initiated programme is aimed at re-affirming public confidence in the Police Service and is expected to run over the year.
The IGP warned that if the police administration does not take any action with regard to the flaws in the service, it risks losing its relevance as a law enforcement agency.
“The programme was necessary to safeguard the image, prestige and the reputation of the police administration,” he added.
Mr Alhassan also pointed out some of the administrative weaknesses within the service as centralised power and authority rather than functional chain of command and control, as well as arbitrary posting and assignment of officers based on nepotism.
Others are duplication of functions of units within the service, limited capacity building including lack of regular and effective training for personnel of all levels of management, and lack of a civilian oversight mechanism.
According to the IGP, based on the above findings, the police administration has resolved to combat these weaknesses with some strategies.
The IGP stated that some of the strategies are the Police Service partnering with key stakeholders in rolling out a sensitisation programme for the public to know their rights as citizens, and reporting of police abuse and misconduct.
Mr Alhassan also stated that the service was undertaking internal sensitisation campaigns for its members, as well as strengthening the disciplinary procedures.
“As part of the efforts to restore public confidence in the service, the police administration is establishing a Police-Public Safety School to take care of the capacity building of junior officers to augment the other existing police establishments,” he said.
In the welcome address, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin, Director-General, Public Affairs, stated that the police will scale up the professional output of its personnel and eliminate inefficiency.
He said, in this regard, the police administration would adopt a more pragmatic and holistic approach in dealing with the challenges facing the service.
The event was attended by regional commanders, members of the diplomatic corps and corporate organizations.