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Opinion | Jan 17, 2018

Is Ghana Police Service Really The Most Corrupt Institution In Ghana?

Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III 
File Photo
File Photo

On several occasions the Ghana Police Service has been adjudged the most corrupt institution in Ghana by some self glorified, dignified and personified anti-corruption institutions or think-tanks for reasons known to only them. Is it really true that Ghana Police Service is the most corrupt institution in Ghana? You may agree based on perception generalisation of their observations but I will also disagree and call for more proofs. I mean further and better particulars considering what is going on at places particularly in the political circles.

Whereas these these institutions and think-tanks, so called have not been able to publish their research methodologies and the sample sizes of their researches, the police service can easily be nailed as the most corrupt institution in Ghana by perception generalisation considering what happens by the side of the road and granting of bails as well as other petty services provided by the police service. Is this enough to adjudge the police service the most corrupt institution in Ghana? I don't think so. We need more forensic auditing or scientific proofs before we can all agree.

How I wish those who are demonising the police service without any proper forensic auditing or scientific proofs in the name of fighting corruption can publish their research methodologies, sample sizes and the number of research participants or respondents so that we can have the opportunity to argue the other side of coin and punch holes into their researches just for academic purposes? Some of us do not want to defend the police service blindly but we rather want to have enough proofs, concrete and cogent evidence to support the perception generalisation approach that the police service is indeed the most corrupt institution in Ghana.

The perception based research approach currently being employed by the so called think-tanks and these anti-corruption institutions smacks of grand schemes just to tarnish the image of the police service which is already dwindling due to perception by the acts of some miscreants and unscrupulous people in the police service, and also to make their institutions to appear more credible and popular just to stay relevant and to attract huge monies from developing partners in the name of fighting corruption in Ghana. We know all that.

Untill we see what goes on at other places with the same research methodologies, sample sizes and the number of research participants or respondents, we cannot rely only on perception generalisation to adjudge some institutions corrupt than the others. That approach is flawed, weak and a lazy one. We must evidently see what goes on at other places so that we can compare and contrast. Until then, it is dangerous to proclaim the police service as the most corrupt institution in Ghana because it could lead to lost of confidence and public apathy in the police service. When that happens, people will take the law into their own hands so we must not let that to happen.

Currently there is a video circulating on social media particularly facebook and whatsapp about a frustrated man who threatened to arrest some police officers whom he accused of taken 1ghc or 2ghc from drivers. He even told them to be taken ghc 10 or ghc50 instead of 1ghc or 2ghc. He then told them to change their attitudes because change has come. Surprisingly these police officers were silent and very cold as the man was angrily shouting at them. Something that suggests that they were guilty of what the man was alleging. He then told his driver to drive on and they left. Is this enough prove that the police service is the most corrupt institution in Ghana? I don't want to believe that.

Interestingly around this same time is another video circulating on whatsapp and facebook with director of public reforms, Thomas Kusi Boafo accusing the former government of stinking corruption and how the presidency was used as a transit point for importation of cars and sold them cheaply to party officials, people in government, chiefs, queen mothers, members in the media fraternity and even pastors. Can we make some conclusions here too? The fact is that I don't haste to conclude until I have all the facts particularly when it comes to matters of corruption and most especially if somebody's reputation is at stake.

I don't want to sound political and one sided but if indeed these allegations are true, then isn't it right for that frustrated man who threatened to arrest those police officers for taking 1ghc or 2ghc instead of 10ghc or 50ghc? I guess it is a shame to be seen or caught on camera taking small monies instead of taking big monies and to me that is the message that man whom I believe might be a politician is trying to put across. If you want to steal, steal big monies and not the small monies so that it will be overwhelmingly and convincingly clear that you are thief or corrupt but not the small monies which have strings of shame and reproach attached to it. This is an old corruption philosophy that people ascribe to.

I have always been asking what makes people think the police service is the most corrupt institution in Ghana as perceived by the general public with the support of the so-called think-tanks anti-corruption institutions? This what we need to do as a country and people, and that is to conduct some scientific research or forensic auditing to establish the real cause of police corruption before we can prescribe the right medications or solutions to solve this canker that has engulfed not only the police service but the whole nation. We should be mindful that the police service is just a subset of the larger public. The police might have it own unique style of corruption but the fact is that everybody in the police service came from the larger society where conscience is fast eroding and roting.

The root cause of police corruption lies in article 200(3)- the police service shall be equipped and maintained....The question some of us have always been asking is that, is the police service well equipped and maintained to perform its constitutional mandate of maintaining law and order? Is the budgetary allocation from the central government enough for the police service to function effectively and efficiently? The last time I checked and only until this year, the police service never received its budgetary allocation from the central government for 3 years but rather relied heavily on internal generated funds from the bank guards and other approved sources within the police service. The same people will sit in their flashy V8 full of air conditions and will be pointing accusing fingers at the police for being corrupt. Isn't it sad? You shirk your responsibilities and still have the conscience and the guts to call the police corrupt?

What people should be asking is, how did the police administration run the police service for all these 3 years if indeed the police service did not receive release from the central government to support its administration and operations? Is the police service a private business? Is the police service an income generating entity to survive on its own without budgetary allocation from the central government? The question of whether the police service is well equipped and maintained if not well answered, we are likely to have a deeper perception of police corruption and assume it as a confirmation that Ghana Police Service is indeed the most corrupt institution in Ghana.

We are in a country that you see and hear police administration and senior police officers appealing to people and philanthropists to come to their aid with donor support so that they can be effective and efficient in their respective areas of command. This is done under the guise that policing is a shared responsibility so members of the general public with whom some may be high profile criminals have a responsibility to policing. This is a clear sign that our police service is not well equipped and maintained and if the police service is not well equipped and maintained, it breeds corruption.

The police service may be corrupt just like any other public institution in Ghana but I doubt we are the most corrupt institution in Ghana just by looking at the face of it. That might not be factually correct and very far from the reality. Yes! We agree that there is embedded corruption in the police service and which you don't need a rocket science to see it but to be adjudged overall best in corruption in Ghana, we need further and better particulars.

Still the only service with integrity in Ghana.
Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III
[email protected]

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