The Police Administration will tomorrow March 18, launch a major public campaign to re-affirm public confidence in the Ghana Police Service.
The campaign, under the auspices of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, will highlight some weaknesses believed to have caused an erosion of public confidence in the ability of the police to engage in their duties with professionalism.
Operational issues such as excessive of force, illegal/over detention of suspects, poor management of remand prisoners, extortion of money, deliberate poor prosecutions of cases in court, demanding money before granting bail, unlawful arrests, settling old scores among other operational weaknesses have been identified by the Police Administration.
The campaign will seek to address those negative practices.
Other administrative weaknesses to be addressed during the campaign are arbitrary posting and assignment of officers based on nepotism/favouritism, inadequate capacity building programmes for personnel, proliferation of tasks among various units such as the Motor Traffic and Transport Department and Highway Patrol Unit; poor supervision at all levels, resistance to the work of the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau (PIPS) and intimidation of young officers.
Mr Alhassan explained to the Daily Graphic last Saturday that there must be a significant shift in the commitment of the Ghana Police Command to implement basic standards and practices reflective of a progressive, accountable and forward thinking law enforcement agency.
“So long as the status quo remains, restoring public confidence and public reassurance of the commitment of the Ghana Police Service remains elusive,” he stated.
He said it was in line with that the Police Administration was launching a sensitisation to the public as to their rights as citizens and the role of the police in a democratic system.
Mr Alhassan said the campaign would also include enhancing police patrol and supervisory procedures within the police, formalising of non-arbitrary procedures for appointment, selection, posting, assignment and promotion of police officers that was quality and experienced-based.
He said of crucial importance to the campaign was the decentralisation of departments of the Ghana Police Service noted for corrupt practices.
According to the IGP, the campaign would be a sustained effort through the use of media outlets to inform the public that police corruption and abuse of authority could not be tolerated.
That, he explained, would include electronic broadcasts, community engagement and discussions.
Mr Alhassan said the Police Administration would enforce the use of the new badge of authority and Service Number Reflective jackets to enable members of the public to report the misconduct of any police officer in his or her line of duty.
The IGP appealed to members of the public to support the Police Administration in the exercise to ensure that it succeeded.
According to him, “if the country gets its police right, everything else will be right”.