Police personnel found guilty of professional misconduct will face the full rigours of the law, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, has stated.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, the IGP said the Police Administration was mindful of the happenings in the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and would purge the system of all miscreants.
He expressed sadness at happenings involving the police within the last couple of weeks, and said it had brought to the fore the fact that since Ghana transited into a democratic dispensation, not much had been done to transform the police from a force into an institution of service.
Mr Asante-Apeatu noted that it was to address such challenges that the Police Administration recently launched the transformation agenda to help change the mindset and operations of police personnel.
He expressed the hope that the agenda would be sustained and supported by all stakeholders to help achieve the desired expectations.
The IGP indicated that the Police Administration was aware of the misconduct of some of its personnel, hence the decision to create social media platforms for members of the public to send videos of such misdeeds to the administration for the offending personnel to be dealt with.
Mr Asante-Apeatu cited, for instance, that Lance Corporal Frederick Amanor Godzi, who was filmed abusing a female customer at the Midland Savings and Loans in Accra, had been interdicted while a panel had been constituted to deal with him per police disciplinary procedures.
He said Constable Amidu Osman, who accidentally shot a bullion driver, was also pending further investigations.
The IGP noted that dealing with miscreants would also require senior officers to do their work well.
In view of that he said, he had issued directives to all police officers reminding them of the need to uphold the highest level of professionalism, courtesy and respect for human rights in the line of duty.
Regional, Divisional and District Commanders, he stated, had also been given firm instructions to intensify supervision and monitoring of personnel in the discharge of their duties.
Mr Asante-Apeatu said the Police Administration had taken cognisance of the concerns, commentary and discussions on the failings of the GPS to help guide and improve upon the operations of its personnel.
He revealed that more than 700 officers had been trained on police disciplinary procedures
According to the IGP, the GPS would have been a better place if both the Tibiru and Archer Commissions’ reports had been implemented.
Both commissions, he said, pointed out the need to address the staff strength, the welfare of the personnel, training and provision of logistics for the personnel to function effectively and efficiently.
He added that the Police Administration was seeking to address some of the challenges through the transformation agenda.
The IGP indicated further that the transformation agenda, which was people-centred, would address some of the challenges confronting the service.
He commended the government for taking a number of proactive measures to resource the police.
Mr Asante-Apeatu said the Police Administration was fine-tuning recruitment processes, including thorough background checks of prospective recruits.
That, he said, would require the support and cooperation of members of the public.
He explained that since the recruits lived in communities, it was important that the public provided the police with information about the recruits.
He conceded that some of the recruits also changed when they joined the service.
Mr Asante-Apeatu said the Police Administration was going a step further by asking the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to certify the results of all applicants who expressed interest in becoming police officers.
All those measures, he stated, would prolong the recruitment process but said it was important to get a clean list than recruiting bad cops.
Touching on protocol recruitment, he stressed that all candidates must meet the basic recruitment requirements but was quick to add that the resort to electronic recruitment applications was helping a lot.