Army Suggests Establishment Of Police Complaints Commission
Army Suggests Establishment Of Police Complaints Commission Website
Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Kotia, Commanding Officer of the 66 Artillery Regiment at Ho, on Wednesday called for the establishment of an independent Police Complaints Commission in Ghana as is the case in South Africa and Norway to deal with public complaints against police personnel. He said that way the public perception that the Police Service is biased in investigating cases against its personnel would be removed. Lt. Col. Kotia made the suggestion at a public hearing in Ho where the performance of the Police Service in the Volta Region came under public scrutiny. The forum arranged by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Africa Office and the Ghana Police Service and funded by the British High Commission sought to improve the relationship between the Ghana Police Service and the public. There already exists at the Police headquarters in Accra, the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau (PIP) to handle public complaints against the conduct of police personnel. The hearing attracted a large crowd to the conference hall of the Freedom Hotel, which took more than its capacity with additional chairs filling every available space forcing more people to find space outside the hall. Allegations brought against the police at the hearing included beating of suspects, failing to act when other suspects beat up their colleagues and extort cell "levies" from them, connivance in cases of forced marriages, supporting factions in land disputes, condoning overloading by extorting money from drivers. Mr Richard Dzormeku, a Principal Investigator at the Volta Regional Office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said the public ought to be blamed for the misconduct of some police personnel. He said politicians, the affluent and ordinary citizens tended to use police personnel to settle personal scores and show off their positions of influence and power in society.