President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has advised personnel of the Ghana Police Service to work towards regaining public confidence.
He said public trust in the police service is one of the key components in the fight against crime.
While delivering the 2020 State of the Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo reiterated his government’s commitment towards equipping the security services.
“The government is committed to improving the conditions of service of all security personnel including the police. But nonetheless, I think it’s my duty also to point out that the public perception of the police is not the best and continues not to be the best and it must make a comprehensive effort to earn the confidence of the public.”
“We cannot run a country of law and order without the well trained and accomplished police service that has the respect and confidence of the people,” he added.
Police vs. corruption perception
A lot of people have complained about supposed unprofessional conduct of the Ghana Police Service.
A recent Afrobarometer report released by the Center for Democratic Development had shown that among key public officials in Ghana, the police, judges and magistrates, Members of Parliament, civil servants, and tax officials were most widely perceived as corrupt.
The Ghana Police Service has often topped most corruption perception rankings in the country, with many Ghanaians often expressing their belief that police officers are corrupt.
The Afrobarometer report showed that the Ghana Police Service was the most corrupt institution in the country, topping the chart with 57%.
‘We’ll deal with corrupt police officers’ – IGP
The Inspector-General of Police, James Oppong-Boanuh, had earlier warned that the service will deal ruthlessly with personnel who engage in acts of corruption.
Speaking at a National Anti-Corruption Action Plan Sensitization Program for Senior Police Officers, the IGP said internal regulatory mechanisms have been put in place to reduce corruption within the service.
“May I mention here that for the first time in the history of the Ghana Police Service, the central disciplinary board of the service has had no backlogs unlike the days where an officer could get involved in a situation and is either interdicted or is on suspension or his case is tendered and the file can be here for five to six years.”
“There is an adage that a fish starts rotting from the head and therefore it is appropriate to get our senior officers involved in the fight against corruption since we are the head and we have no choice but to work very hard to address the perception of corruption if we are to remain relevant as a law enforcement institution in the country. And I can assure you that the police institution is resolved to see this through,” he added.