General News of Friday, 13 October 2017
Some parents are said to be disgracefully obtaining financial advantage from crimes inflicted on their children, particularly those who are defiled.
Head of Education and Research at the Domestic Violence and Victims’ Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Police Service Supt. Freeman Tettey, said, their officers are unable to prosecute a number of defilement cases because parents enter into settlement terms with perpetrators on the blind side of the police.
This leaves the investigating officers frustrated and with little or no chances of prosecuting the cases to the end, Supt. Tettey stated on the Super Morning on Joy FM Friday, October 13, 2017.
According to him, because victims of defilement are children, “decisions are always taken for them” including filling of medical forms to confirm the violence committed against them.
Unfortunately, some of the parents and guardians “use the medical form as a bargaining chip,” he said.
He continued, “…so these are some of the things that affect our ability to prosecute some of the cases,” Freeman Tettey told Kojo Yankson, host of the programme.
“Sometimes parents go into agreement with perpetrators to settle them for the offence against their children and after they are paid, the parents drop the charge and then relocate with the victims.
“When the victim reports a case and the parent decides to relocate, there is nothing you can do about that…”
The relocation he pointed, “creates a problems for us” and in instances where they are able to trace the victims’ location, the senior police officer said, “cooperation becomes a problem.”
A number of such victims have died as a result of their parents’ reluctance to volunteer information to investigators partly because they have agreed to be paid-off by the perpetrator.
But Supt. Tettey has cautioned against such practices because “It is a crime to accept payment to drop a charge. They are all criminal because that impedes our investigations.”
Complicity of police
The parents are not the only culprits involved in this detestable behavior. Some of the police officers to whom the cases are reported as well. Some officers collect as much as GH?500 from parents in order to work on the cases.
Such officers Supt. Tettey said, are dealt with by the police administration when found culpable as their conducts are morally and professionally unacceptable.
“There are instances that when we find our officers wanting [liable]…we deal with them,” he stated while blaming “poor supervision” by senior officers as a factor in some of the cases.
Determined to shift the mindset of such personnel in the Service Mr. Tettey observed, that the Inspector General of Police has launched a transformation agenda to deal with such misconducts in the Service.
“A transformation office has been established to put measures in place that will make it possible to track all cases right from the reporting stage to the end of investigations,” he disclosed.
Listen to the discussion in the attached audio: