9 August 2018

Ghana: Sanction Erring Police Officers - Interior Minister

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INVESTIGATION into recent cases of misconduct of police personnel must not be swept under the carpet, the Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery has admonished the police administration.

Lamenting the negative image that the attitudes of such personnel had created for the service, he said: "Disciplinary processes initiated must be pursued to their logical conclusion and appropriate sanctions imposed."

Mr Dery said this in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Henry Quartey at a mid-year review meeting held in Accra yesterday, attended by representatives of agencies under the ministry.

Police personnel have been at the centre of several controversies this year. More than 40 personnel on United Nations peacekeeping in South Sudan were recently repatriated over sexual misconduct.

Also, some personnel in Kumasi allegedly handcuffed and assaulted a pregnant woman, while a drunken uniformed police personnel, wielding a gun in a commercial vehicle was captured on video. Additionally, a journalist was allegedly assaulted in Accra.

Last month, some police officers reportedly killed some suspected robbers under controversial circumstances. A customer of Midland Savings and Loans in Accra was also assaulted by a police man when she went there to withdraw money from her account.

These issues, according to Mr Dery, brought into focus the training of personnel and therefore charged all agency heads to continue to retrain the personnel to display professionalism and eschew negative attitudes.

On the sexual misconduct case, he said the ministry was expecting a report of ongoing investigation on eight suspects, adding that the government was sensitive about the country's image at the international scene.

Mr Dery said the ministry had begun a monitoring exercise of all ongoing and stalled projects of the various agencies under it in order to prioritise and complete them.

He said the monitoring team had identified about eight of such projects including staff and office accommodation in the Greater Accra and Eastern regions, which the Ghana Police Service was seeking funds to complete some of them.

Mr Dery said all efforts would be made to secure adequate funding in the 2019 Budget for the completion of the projects, including work on the Nsawam Remand Prisons.

The minister announced that hydraulic platforms were being procured for the Ghana National Fire Service, construction of an armoury for the Ghana Immigration Service and operational items and accoutrements for all security agencies.

He charged the security agencies to collaborate in order to effectively fight sophisticated crime like terrorism, human trafficking and assured of the government's resolve to retool them adequately.

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