The Ghana Police Service has revived its Service Instructions and a communication strategy in line with its transformation agenda.
The Service Instructions serve as the standard operating procedures that guide all operations of the police, ensure professionalism and provide key procedural information and directions to ensure effective prosecutions.
For the first time, the police administration has added the public education and communication strategy to enhance communication with internal and external stakeholders of the service and ensure greater respect for human rights.
The two documents were developed with the support of the European Union (EU) under its Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme (ARAP).
Old Service Instructions
Launching the two documents, the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, said the Service Instructions which were developed for the then Gold Coast Constabulary which later became the Ghana Police Force and subsequently the Ghana Police Service, had remained the same since 1957.
He said under the direction and vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government, it would continue to play its constitutional role of equipping and maintaining the Police Service to enable it to perform its legitimate duty of maintaining law and order.
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For his part, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, said the two documents would enhance police accountability, transparency and professionalism in line with international standards.
Additionally, he said, it would promote respect for human rights and improve police-public engagement.
The Service Instructions, he pointed out, would ensure that police officers acted in a professional manner at all times in spite of the hazards they were exposed to in the exercise of their duties.
The history of the Ghana Police Service, Mr Asante-Apeatu said, had shown that police officers were exposed to dangers in the discharge of their duties, yet they went all out to deliver their mandate, sometimes at the peril of their lives.
“In the course of duty, some of us get injured, maimed and at the extreme, lives are lost. Many have always questioned the basis of some of our actions or inaction without recourse to the fundamental documents that serve as our anchor,” he said.
The Police Administration, the IGP said, had been doing its best to prevent unprofessional conduct and punish deviant behaviour to serve as a deterrent to others.
“All professions have their own hazards and the Ghana Police Service is not an exception.
In an attempt to reduce professional errors and enhance professionalism, the Police Administration took steps to review one of its key documents that governs the conduct of police officers,” he said.
The European Union Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Diana Acconcia, said the ARAP programme, which would run from 2016 to 2021, was a €20 million project with the aim of supporting the accountability institutions through the strengthening of law enforcement agencies for a stronger criminal justice chain.
ARAP, she stated, had been supporting the Ghana Police Service in the areas of technical assistance for effective prosecution, improving professional standards and strengthening accountability of the service to the Ghanaian citizens.