Although religion does not form part of the criteria for recruitment into the Ghana Police Service, Rastafarians wearing dreadlocks cannot join the Service because they are considered indecent.
This was made known by DSP Cephas Arthur, Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service.
Speaking to Blakk Rasta host of Taxi Driver Show on Hitz 103.9 FM, the Police Public Affairs Director said he does not recall ever seeing a Rastafarian applicant, but admits it may prove difficult for anyone wearing dreadlocks to pass the requirements to become a recruit.
One of the common directives to police trainees is for them to shave their head and beard – something Rastafarians are forbidden to do because of their beliefs.
Although not all Rastafarians decline from shaving their hair, most of them grow their hair into what is called a dreadlock – natural matted coils of hair.
But DSP Cephas Arthur disagrees that the directive for new police trainees to shave their hair is a form of religious discrimination.
He explained that in every institution, there are rules and regulations governing it, and anyone seeking to become part of that institution must abide by the rules governing it.
He stressed that there is no indication that Rastafarians are debarred from applying to join the Ghana Police Service in their communications.
“Everybody has got the right to come for the recruitment exercise”, he said.
However, he added that there is a need for anyone seeking to join any security service to adhere to its rules and regulations - claiming conformity to the rules and regulations ensures discipline.
The Police Public Affairs Director could not readily explain the reasons behind the age-old directive to new recruits to shave, but his wild guess was that it makes them look "trimmed and decent".
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