Public see Police as Corrupt - (CDD-Ghana) Survey
A survey conducted by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) shows that most Ghanaians perceived corruption as a major problem within the Ghana Police Service. Using a sample size of 720 respondents in all the 110 districts, the survey revealed that 68 per cent believed that extortion or bribery occurred frequently within the Service.
Dr Baffour Agyeman-Duah, Associate Director of the CDD, said at Akosombo, in the Eastern Region that the report indicated that 92 per cent of respondents admitted to have paid bribe to personnel of the service.
Dr Agyeman-Duah gave the figures at a two-day national workshop to discuss the findings of the study that focused on the relations between the public and the Police.
The study was carried out between March and April this year.
The report indicated that many Ghanaians, who are arrested by the Police, believe that they are not treated according to the law. A number of people arrested were not informed about the charges against them while 67 per cent of respondents were not given the opportunity to contact a lawyer. Forty-four (44) per cent were presumed guilty from the time of arrest.
Opening the workshop, the Interior Minister, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang said the survey result was an issue of serious concern. Consequently, the Service is strengthening its Monitoring and Investigations Unit with the support of the United States Government to handle complaints by the public.
Mr Owusu-Agyemang, whose speech was read on his behalf by, Mr Thomas Broni, a Deputy Minister at the Interior Ministry, lauded the prosecution of Police officers, caught engaging in criminal activities. He appealed to the media to give wide publicity to such cases. The Minister appealed to the Service to prove the public wrong by changing their attitude of doing things.
Nana Owusu-Nsiah, Inspector General of Police, announced that the Police Administration has established a Community Policing Unit in all its operational areas.
The Community Policing Unit will support and work in partnership with the communities to develop programs to improve security.
Mrs. Leonora Kyerematen, Co-coordinator of the National Governance Program, suggested that part of road traffic fines should be paid into the account of the Police Administration to improve on the accommodation of the personnel and conditions in the Police cells.
Mr Emile Francis Short, Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), chaired the opening ceremony of the workshop, which is being attended by 48 participants comprising Senior Police Officers, Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defense and Ministry of the Interior.
Others are from human rights organizations, the National Governance Program, the Ghana Bar Association and the Academia.
The workshop is brainstorming on the recommendations of the study, which forms part of CDD's project to improve the justice system in Ghana.
The study assessed the image of the Police, arrest and treatment of criminals; human rights record; combating crimes; maintenance of law and order; bribery and corruption and gender policing.
Source - GNA