Police service introduces online criminal clearance application system
Persons seeking criminal clearance can now do so in the comfort of their homes or office or on their phones through an online software the Ghana Police Service has introduced for the application of police clearance reports.
The police clearance certificate is used to verify criminal records and is usually requested by employers and also important for visa application processes.
The online platform, which could be accessed through e-services.police.gov.gh, is to improve efficiency and accessibility of the system which had for years been operated manually.
The new system is also linked to the official government payment platform, Ghana.Gov to make payment easy and secure.
The online application portal is also to provide a user friendly interface for individuals to submit their applications, upload required documents, and make necessary payments, if applicable
Under the traditional system of applying for police clearance certificates, applicants had to apply in person and had to wait for up to 10 days before they could receive the certificate.
However, the new digital platform, which is currently being piloted, has simplified the process for the application which has made it faster, more efficient and convenient for applicants.
A police source told the Daily Graphic that the new system would be rolled out soon following a successful piloting.
The source said the innovative digital solution would alleviate the stress on applicants as it would provide a convenient and accessible means to obtain police clearance certificates from the comfort of their homes.
The technological advancement, he said, marked a significant step in the transformation agenda of the Police Service and streamlining administrative procedures for the benefit of the public.
He said the Police Administration was hopeful the digital platform would improve efficiency and contribute significantly to a more efficient and accessible criminal justice system, benefiting both the public and law enforcement agencies.
How it works
To utilise the new digital service, applicants must first register an account on e-services.police.gov.gh.
Once registered, applicants can select the desired service type, provide their personal information, and securely make payments through the official government payment platform, Ghana.Gov.
Subsequently, applicants will be required to schedule an appointment and visit the designated centre in any of the 25 police administrative regions across the country to have their fingerprints digitally scanned using advanced live scan technology.
The Police Administration has decentralised the criminal clearance record system since May 22, 2023, which makes it possible for applicants to apply at any of the 25 police regions across the country to replace an old system where all criminal background checks are conducted exclusively at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, Accra, a situation which puts a lot of pressure on individuals and organisations who require a police clearance.
Before then, all applicants, no matter their location, had to travel to the CID headquarters in Accra.
The online approach has since eliminated the need for the conventional method involving manual ink fingerprinting using rollers and slabs, which often require applicants to travel to police regions.
Before this digital advancement, there were some persistent challenges for individuals residing outside Accra, with delays occurring due to the processing of applications not being promptly transferred to the central processing unit in Accra.
The manual scanning of ink fingerprints on paper at the CID Headquarters also contributed to additional delays while some of the concerns also related to loss of receipts, incorrect spelling of names on receipts, and difficulty in tracking status of applications.