Police take bold steps to weed out bad cops

An Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) is to be established to address indiscipline and accountability challenges in the Ghana Police Service.

The commission is expected to be a civilian oversight body within the Ministry of the Interior.

Already, the Police Administration has set up a unit known as the National Inspection Team to weed out miscreants from the service.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, made this known at the launch of the Public Confidence Reaffirmation Campaign by the Ghana Police Service in Accra yesterday. The campaign  

The year-long campaign that will focus on the relationship between the police and the public, as well as the professional disposition and practices of police personnel, comes in the wake of several complaints about the misconduct of policemen and women and is aimed at ensuring that the police carry out their duty of maintaining law and order in a professional manner.

As part of the campaign, police personnel will wear armbands with the inscription, “I do not accept bribe”, while armbands with “Do not corrupt the police” and “I will not bribe the police” inscribed on them were distributed to the public during a float from the Police Headquarters to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.  Inspection team

Explaining the functions of the National Inspection Team, the IGP said it would investigate the loss and unlawful use of firearms by police personnel.

The team was also expected to investigate allegations of misconduct and corruption made against police officers, he said. 

Additionally, he said the unit would investigate jail breaks and monitor traffic accidents involving police vehicles. Don’t bribe the police

Mr Alhassan advised the public to refrain from bribing the police when they infringed the law. 

The people, he said, should know their rights as citizens and be proactive by providing credible information to enable the police to discharge their duties.

“As responsible citizens, it is incumbent on you to inform the police about the misconduct of their personnel and pursue all complaints against them to their logical conclusion,” the IGP added.

According to him, the image of the Ghana Police Service had, over the years, attracted unsavoury comments by the public. 

“This is the result of the shameful and disgraceful acts perpetuated by a limited number of our personnel,” he pointed out. Police assessment 

To address the problem, he said the police conducted a self-assessment which established that some police officers used excessive force, extorted money while on road duties, demanded money before granting bails and meddled in civil cases.

The assessment also found the abuse of the rights of suspects, such as the illegal detention of suspects, wrongful arrests and poor treatment of detained suspects, he noted.

It also identified administrative weaknesses within the service, such as centralised power and authority, arbitrary posting and assignment of officers based on nepotism and favouritism, as well as the duplication of the work of units, which hampered the efficiency of personnel. Era of impunity over 

To the Police Administration and personnel, the IGP cautioned that “the era when we acted with impunity is over”. 

The IGP indicated that to reverse the negative image of the Police Service, “we have realised that the only way forward is to boldly fight and eliminate all image-tarnishing vices and their associated perpetrators”.

The Director-General in charge of the Public Affairs Department, Deputy Commissioner of Police Rev David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin, in a welcoming address, stated that the service had, in the past years, initiated and implemented a number of programmes and policies to improve its services to the public.

 Those, he said, included the Visibility Patrol, the Marine Police and the Action units which had strengthened the service.

“The Police Administration deems it opportune and fit to enter the next phase of its reform drive,” he added.

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