Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Police Service DCOP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah has counseled trained Prosecutors of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit under the Ghana Police Service to ensure their training translates into more successful prosecution of sexual offenders.
The CID Director-General was speaking at the closing ceremony of a two-day Training program sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Ghana) for DOVVSU Prosecutors at the Crystal Palm Hotel in Accra, with participants drawn from all the Ten Regions of Ghana.
“Why are we not getting more convictions of sexual offenders?” she quizzed the DOVVSU prosecutors.
“It means we have to improve upon our prosecution. Why do we go to court when we have not done our work well? We must think about how we can do more to serve Ghanaians. You should be able to identify the gaps in dockets” she advised.
“We have recorded 127 cases of rape, 88 for rape, the rest for defilement… how many of these cases have gone to court? And how many have we prosecuted?” She asked the audience.
“If we are not doing it well, it means we are increasing the pain of the public who come to report to us because they trust us to heal their pain. When there are gaps [in docket], don’t let it favour the accused. Let us serve justice to the victims of domestic violence. This training must not be in vain. We want to see it reflect in your work.” she stressed.
DCOP Addo-Danquah said UNFPA was not sponsoring the program for mere sponsorship sake, but that they wanted to see it show in the work of the DOVVSU prosecutors as it positively impacted the Ghanaian public under the Inspector-General’s Transformational agenda.
“UNFPA is supporting us in this training, let us prove to them and to the people of Ghana that we are working and getting results. The people of Ghana must have confidence in us and in the justice we help them pursue… … We selected you among your colleagues. Not all of you could make it here. Make it a point to share your knowledge with your colleagues, in your informal discussions, bring up case studies you learnt here and discuss with those who are not here. It is important.” she ended.
Training Period too short
Leader of the course Cohort, Chief Superintend Brown Mercy Wilson who delivered a speech on behalf of her course mates said the two days scheduled for the program was too short for them to cover enough. She expressed their appreciation to the UNFPA and to the Police Administration for the opportunity to be trained to sharpen their prosecution skills. On behalf of her colleagues, they she said they comprehended “drafting of winning charges” but pleaded with the CID Boss and UNFPA to make the “next course longer than two days” because the topics to cover “was very broad”.
The group were particularly happy about the training they received in dealing with digital information.
A representative from the UNFP present revealed that the training will be brought to bear at the local level and will “convey to my superiors the energy and passion I saw here in the two days. UNFP acknowledges this is very important to the work of the police force.”