21.10.2005 Crime & Punishment

Police urged to be democratic and flexible

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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of the Interior, on Friday called on the Police to avoid being rigid and autocratic in dealing with the public, especially in the current democratic dispensation.

He said the Service had to be professional and sensitive in their performance in order to win the confidence of the people. Papa Owusu Ankomah was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Basic Police Skills Instructors Development Course for 30 Police officers in Accra.

The four-month course, which was part of the general police duties, was sponsored by the US Department for International Narcotics and Law Bureau, with trainers from the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Programme (ICITAP) of the US Justice Department. Topics covered included community policing; human rights; domestic violence and stress management.

Papa Owusu Ankomah said one area of concern to the Government had been human resource development that was central to the growth and development of the country's policing system. He said international conventions and protocols on human rights standards concerning law enforcement and administration enjoined Police all over the world to be professional, accountable and sensitive to the public.

He commended the US Government for supporting the country in the areas of training, human resource development and democracy. Ms Pamela E. Bridgewater, US Ambassador in Ghana said the US Government had offered to train 60 additional Police officers in two eight-week versions of the course beginning in February 2006.

She said even though Ghana had a well-earned reputation for democracy and respect for law and human rights, there was the need to strengthen the country's democratic and legal institutions. Ms Bridgewater called for a more professionally trained Police force that would help to protect human rights, reduce corruption, cut down on international and domestic crime and preserve the peace of the country.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Patrick Acheampong said he was happy that those, who underwent the training, would train other Police officers on the basic instructors skills.

He called for the revival of the syllabus of all Police training schools to meet current requirements in Police training.