Former Police Commander kicks against calls to de-criminalise suicide

Former Ashanti and Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kweku Ayensu Opare-Addo, has kicked against the calls to de-criminalise suicide.

DCOP Opare-Addo believes making the attempt to take one’s own life a criminal offence would deter people from doing it.

At least seven people have committed suicide in the last two weeks the latest being an incident at Ashaiman, in the Greater Accra Region.

Last week, a level 400 student jumped to her death at the University of Ghana, Legon. A week earlier a female student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) hanged herself to death.

Also, at Akye Amanfrom in the Afram Plains South District in the Eastern Region a 26-year-old lady Letitica Amaki, hanged herself to death from a water reservoir.

In the wake of the wave of suicides that has been sweeping over the country, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei suggested that a massive public education on mental health across the country was imperative.

He also called for the de-criminalisation of suicides from the statutes.

Furthermore, Psychiatrist Dr. Kwadwo Marfo Obeng, says the law criminalising suicide does not make sense since suicidal persons lack the mental capacity bother about laws and criminal prosecutions.

However, DCOP Opare-Addo wants the status quo maintained, insisting that the existing legislation is not the cause of the current of wave of suicides.

“When a person commits suicide it is his own making and nobody can say that it has anything to do with criminalisation of suicides,” he said.

He, however, admits that people’s “negative mental postures” have been the cause of suicides.

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