Ghana Police Service Week

The Ghana Police Service for the first time in the history of the security institution is observing Police Week.
The observance of the “Police Week”, which started on Saturday 24th November 2018 with the Community Walk ended last Friday 30th November 2018 under the theme “Renewing Police-Public Partnership for Community Safety”. Among other things it was aimed at enhancing effective co-existence between the Police and the citizenry to promote safer communities. Throughout the week Police Officers across the country, have engaged the public through various forms with education on road safety, holiday safety, child safety and crime prevention generally.
To end the Police Week, there was a “Police Memorial Day”, an event commemorating Police Officers who died in line of duty. It is fascinating to observe that the leadership of the Ghana Police Service has recognised the urgent need to promote a healthy relationship with the public they serve as a security institution. It is also worthy to note that the service is working now to redeem its perceived lost image, through the observance of the Police Week.
The Police in Ghana apparently is struggling to make a good name for itself as numerous incidents by personnel have woefully dragged the name of the service into disrepute. Indiscriminate shooting, inhumane brutalities and killings are perpetrated against the very people they are supposed to serve and protect. Alleged bribery, rude and unprofessional attitude towards the citizenry, lackadaisical approach to cases reported, misuse of power and resources are just but a few issues the public have against the police in Ghana.
In Ghana today, the police appear to be increasingly losing confidence which has clearly contributed to the numerous incidence of instance justice in the Ghanaian society. The actions and inactions of some personnel of the service have undoubtedly been the cause of the high level of indiscipline and crime especially on the roads. As the service tries to institutionalise observation of the week, the focus must also be on the very issues that have been identified as lapses in the relationship between the police and public.
As they prepare the citizenry to have confidence in the personnel as well as the institution, leadership of the service must work hard to weed out the very bad nuts within the nation’s elite security institution. There must also be a special training in customer service for the personnel as this has been a major bane of the service. The police must be friendly, nice and polite. Elsewhere, the police appear very neat and polite in the eyes of the general public as this is key in winning the confidence of the general public.
The functions of the Ghana Police Service as stated in the Police Service Act, 1970 [Act 350] of Ghana, which include, crime detection and prevention, arrest and prosecution of offenders, maintenance of law and order must be the primary focus. It is also worth stating that the lack of accommodation for personnel within the service, especially the junior ranks, lack of tools and logistics as well as the public’s unwillingness to give out information, which is critical in effective intelligence and security delivery are major challenges of the service.
It is therefore heartwarming that the government has taken the initiative to help retool the service. The recent provision of vehicles and other facilities to retool the service to enhance operations to help propup the service to be a world-class Police Service capable of delivering planned, democratic, protective and peaceful services up to standards of international best practice as spelled out in the vision of the service is highly commendable. The Ghana Police Service is deemed as one of the best around the globe.
The awarding of the United Nations Female Police Officer of the Year to Ghana’s Chief Superintendent, Mrs Phyllis Ama Tebuah Osei currently serving with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM, “for her exemplary work in the field” is a case in point. Undoubtedly and generally, the service is on course to provide the citizens of this country the best of security but, by and large, their effort, though appreciated has not been enough. The Ghana Police Service indeed exists to deliver services in crime prevention detection, apprehension and prosecution of offenders consistent with the expectations of Ghanaians for maximum protection, safe, secure and peaceful communities in the light of the values of the service which require from personnel honesty and firmness but fairness, in their activities, thus, ensuring effective working partnership with the general public. The Ghana Police Service has as its motto “Service with Integrity”.
This must not only be rhetoric but rather a guide and motivation to truly deliver service and integrity to the nation.
BY NANA SIFA TWUM, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT – LONDON- UK.

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