Graphic Online

Graphic Online 

Police Service tackles personnel involvement in criminality

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey

The Police Administration has expressed worry about the increasing involvement of police personnel in criminal acts.

It described the development as “scandalous” and an embarrassment to the service.

Although no statistics were given, there have been reports of policemen being arrested for robbery, car snatching and fraud, among other , in recent times.

The Director General of the Police Professional and Standards Bureau, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Nathan Kofi Boakye, said at a press briefing on police operations for the first quarter of 2018 in Accra yesterday that "we are overtaken by such activities. It is quiet embarrassing".

The press briefing was to update the media on efforts by the Police Administration to meet its mandate of fighting crime and ensuring professionalism in the service.

Measures


To curb the incidence of law enforcers engaging in crime, Mr Boakye said the Police Administration had instituted measures, including how weapons were released to personnel for duties.

Also, he said the vetting arrangements for recruitment had been improved to stop miscreants from enrolling into the Police Service.

The service has also improved its training procedures and methods, following an analysis of the training gaps, he added.

“This is because when police personnel are well trained, it will help reduce the incidence of police personnel getting involved in crime. We are determined to reduce such behaviours, if not eliminate them outright,” he stressed.

On how such personnel were punished, Mr Boakye said they were made to face Police Service enquiry and also put before the courts to be dealt with in accordance with civil law.

“After facing the service enquiry, they are dismissed if they are found culpable,” he added.

Complaints

In 2016, Mr Boakye said, the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Unit (PIPS), which is now the Police Professional and Standards Bureau, received 1,293 complaints against police personnel.

Out of the number, he said, 500 had been completed, with 100 of them closed for want of prosecution, while 693 were still under investigations.

According to him, in 2017, 1,362 cases were handled by the unit, but he could not give the figures for the first quarter of 2018.

Crime rate

The journalists were briefed on the crime trend, with emphasis on major offences, such as robbery, murder, rape, defilement, human trafficking and narcotic cases, between January and May 21, 2018 and compared with the same periods in the past three years.

The Director of Operations of the Criminal investigations Department (CID), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Joseph Oklu Gyamera, said 484 cases of robbery had been recorded across the country as of May 2018.

Out of the total, the Accra Region accounted for 191, Ashanti 123, Eastern 49, Tema 29 and Central 33, while the six other regions recorded less than 20 cases each, he said.

On car jacking, he said 44 cases were recorded, with Accra topping with 21 cases, followed by Ashanti with 14 cases, adding that murder cases were recorded in all the regions.

Going forward

On the way forward, Mr Gyamera said as part of proactive measures to combat crime, intelligence units which hitherto existed only at the CID Headquarters would be replicated at the various regional headquarters.

“The purpose is to detect and foil crime before they are committed,” he complained.

Also, he said, drug law enforcement units were being established in the Northern, Volta, Eastern and Brong Ahafo regions to effectively fight and manage drug-related offences.

For his part, the Director of the Operations Unit of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Dr Sayibu Pabi Gariba, said the use of body cameras and other e-policing methods to fight crime were being piloted.

He appealed to the public and the media to cooperate with the police in the fight against crime by providing relevant information, since crime prevention was a shared responsibility.