Police Service To Rebuild Public Confidence With New Campaign

The Ghana Police Service says it is gearing up for a massive campaign to rebuild public confidence in the service. The campaign, dubbed the “Public Confidence Reaffirmation Campaign” is aimed at rooting out vices and non-professionalism among police personnel in the country. Director of Public Affairs of the Service, DSP Cephas Arthur told Kumasi-based Ultimate Radio, the year-long campaign would be launched on the 18th of March 2014, at the International Press Center in Accra. He said it is aimed at complimenting efforts to uplift and fine-tune the image of the Ghana Police Service to be consistent with international standards of policing. “It is about still trying to position the police service on the right pedestal and lifting it to the level of international best practices in such a way as to make it more professional to serve the interest of the people better than it used to be before” he said. Elucidating further, DSP Cephas Arthur explained that the campaign is targeted at rooting out some vices and unprofessionalism among police personnel which has over the years hurt the image of the service. Such vices include bribery, manhandling of suspects and civilians alike, unprofessional use of fire arms, amongst others. “We are looking at making the police officer more professional when he is using a weapon. When the police are handling callers or clients, is he giving him a better service? Is the suspect or complainant leaving the police charge office satisfied or disgruntled because the police officer asked him to give a bribe”? “We want to now tackle the little vices and complaints that members of the public make against personnel of the service to ensure that we iron-out all those things and position the service on a better footing to serve the people better than ever” he established. As part of the confidence winning campaign, the Director of Public Affairs indicated that a concept paper will be launched on the day. He also told Ultimate Radio, there would be paraphernalia with messages of virtues against bribery and corruption which will be distributed and worn by both the police and the public to further reinforce the campaign. Picking some engraved rubber wrist bands for demonstration , DSP Cephas Arthur said, “There will be master messages of virtue that are worthy of emulation that will be printed and embossed on pieces of items including wrist bands, stickers, badges and other paraphernalia. Some will read “I don’t accept bribe, to be worn by the police. Others to be worn by the public will read “I don’t corrupt the police; I don’t bribe the police and the likes.” Reinforcing the truism of the fight to bribery and corruption being a concerted effort, he said every message the service would be communicating, would have both the police side and the public’s responsibility to keep each other in check. Chronicling some achievements of the police service, he mentioned that the Police Visibility and Accessibility Units, the Formed Police Unit, the Marine Police and other police welfare programs like the Shuttle Services which carts police to and from work and the drilling of bore holes for police barracks, had gained the service some commendation both in Ghana and beyond. He added however that the police had not been able to regain the total trust and confidence of the Ghanaian public informing the new campaign. The police as part of this will also be organizing training courses to educate personnel on modern dynamics of policing regarding how to use weapons and how to deal with callers and complainants at the charge office, and how to handle suspects to eradicate the remnants of colonial days policing. DSP Cephas Arthur dismissed suggestions that such police campaigns had not yielded positive results in the past and was optimistic that members of the public, corporate organizations and philanthropists would buy into the idea and support the service roll out the campaign. He admitted that the operation was going to demand financial support and appealed to organizations and individuals donate to assist the service carry out the campaign effectively across the country.