Poor records hamper recruits’ background checks – IGP
Poor record-keeping in the country slows down the processes of running background checks on police recruits, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor has said.
Following increased reports of police officers colluding with criminals to commit crimes in the country, questions have been raised about the quality of investigations conducted by the Ghana Police Service into the backgrounds of its prospective personnel.
In an interview on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday, June 29, Mr. Kudalor said the service does the relevant digging into the history of applicants before recruiting them, though the process was slow, a situation he partly attributed to shoddy record-keeping in the country.
He said inasmuch as majority of cops were “White Knights”, with a devotion to the job and carrying out their duties professionally, the police service had its share of bad nuts he described as “rogues and rascals”, who have links to gangs in the “underworld”, leaking information on police operations to such characters and stealing weapons and ammunition for their use.
Mr. Kudalor, however, said the problem was not peculiar to Ghana as the police service in other countries faced similar difficulties.
He gave an example in Miami in the U.S., where 800 personnel were once recruited by the police department until it later came to light that some 200 of them were rogues, following which they were sacked.
“So, I won’t agree 100 percent; I will only agree with you to an extent because it is not only in Ghana that such issues have arisen,” he said in response to a suggestion that the police had failed to conduct comprehensive checks on recruits, adding that inquiries into the conduct of persons they wish to enlist were “slow but sure”.
Mr. Kudalor said the service conducts “nominal and positive vetting” on each of its recruits to get information on them. He said nominal vetting often does not return much and is conducted quickly, while positive vetting, which is more thorough, takes more time for which reason some police are dismissed even years after joining the service if an adverse finding is made against them.
“Record-keeping here is not that good so it takes a rather long time [to gather information on personnel],” he mentioned, but said with the updating of the police database from manual to electronic, obtaining information on recruits would be easier.
“So, it is good, except it is slow…but it is not the intention of the police to not conduct proper background checks; we do for everyone.”