Crime & Punishment of 2014-05-31

Too early to judge our Public Confidence Campaign – Police

The Ghana Police Service says it is too early for Ghanaians to measure the achievements of the Police Public Confidence Campaign.

The campaign, under the auspices of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, is aimed at highlighting and tackling some weaknesses believed to have caused an erosion of public confidence in the Ghana Police Service.

Although a cross section of the public are pessimistic about the Public Confidence Campaign, the Director of the Police Public Affairs, DSP Cephas Arthur, has told Citi News they have made great progress.

He added that it is too sudden to qualitatively measure the outcome of the campaign since it is still underway.

“The process itself is ongoing, just last week; the IGP was in Takoradi to meet the Western Regional Police command to propagate the message. We have been to Tamale, Kumasi, Tema and other places too,” he said.

DSP Arthur downplayed people’s negative perception about the police saying, it not feasible to expect the police change overnight because the campaign has been launched and “it is a gradual process”.

Some of the operational issues affecting the Police Service include, the use of excessive force, illegal or over detention of suspects, poor management of remand prisoners, extortion of money, poor prosecutions of cases in court, demanding money before granting bail, unlawful arrests, settling old scores, among others.

Other administrative weaknesses to be addressed are, arbitrary posting and assignment of officers based on nepotism/favoritism, 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.

The campaign which was launched two months ago seeks to address these negative practices.