Ghana Police brutality is bad but will it ever stop on it own or something more drastic needs to be done? The Ghana Police Service is an important government security service charged with maintaining internal security, law and order. Their functions are vital to the safety of all persons living within Ghana.
The Police is a body that represents the civil authority of government responsible for ensuring public order and safety at all times throughout the country.
General Overview of Police Duties
They work to ensure that, laws are enforced, they act professionally to prevent crime, detect crime and investigate such outcomes through extensive criminal investigations. These functions are policing duties of the Ghana Police Service. Businesses and properties are also provided security by Ghana police service.
The basic function of the Police are stated in Section 1 of the Police Service Act, 1970 (Act 350)
It shall be the duties of the Police Service to prevent and detect crime, to apprehend offenders and to maintain public order and safety of persons and properties.
The Ghana Police Service provides other services to the general public such as Providing Motor Traffic duties aimed at ensuring safety on our roads for road users.
The Ghana Police also vets and issues Police criminal certificates as well as assist females and vulnerable to deal with traumatic and psychological problems emanating from sexual abuse (usually against minors), women and children.
From the above, it is clear that Ghana needs the police officers to be on top of their jobs is we are as a nation going to live in a safe and peaceful environment. The Police Officers in times for robbery and other dangerous criminal occurrences, put their lives on the line. This and other heroic acts of great police officers in the Ghana Police Service cannot be underestimated.
However, police brutality has gone on for long and many innocent persons have suffered ranging from being killed by police officers negligence and stray bullets. In other instances, people have lost their lives because they were mistaken to be criminals on the spot. Other people have been seriously hurt and bedridden through police brutalities.
Human rights activist such as Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu and Non-governmental Organizations such as Human Rights Reporters Ghana have expressed worry about the unprofessional policing displayed by some men in uniform while on duty.
Police officers have been found brutalizing unarmed civilians. The Human Rights Reporters Ghana a non-governmental organization aimed at advocacy education, and championing the human rights issues in Ghana and in Africa as a whole has added its voice to the call by Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu that, police officers should undertake a course in human rights to arm them with requisite information, knowledge and skills on how to deal with civilians while maintaining law and order so that, they do not end up trampling on the rights of civilians.
Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu speaking on the AM Show on Joy News said
Police officers must pass a course in human rights before they are put out there to go and police
The days when police officers want to show the civilian or the lawbreaker where power lies must be over. In a related development, the Trotro Driver and his mate who were captured on a viral video in which they fought an Officer in Uniform have also indicated how they were beaten and maltreated by the Ghana Police since they were arrested.
The two narrating their story on Adom FMs Dwaso Nsem Show said they were beaten, slapped and maltreated by different officers of the law who took turns at the blind side of the law to “punish” them for “beating” another police officer.
The police officer according to the narration was the first to start knocking the driver from behind after he had entered the Trotro. The driver added that the police officer used his helmet to head his mouth and he had to fight back since he realized his life was under threat.
Another police brutality suffered by Latif Iddris of Joy News and other unprofessional conduct of the police amount to human right abuses that many police officers have done have gone unpunished.
Schooling Ghana Police Officers on human rights issues is an urgent call that the police administration must consider going forward. Both officers and new recruits need to be given professional training that will arm them to perform their policing duties effectively.