The Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Joseph Whittal has said that an efficient compliant management system of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) will improve accountability and earn the respect of the citizenry.
He noted that, discussions through knowledge and experience sharing hinged on mutual understanding and improved cooperation between the Ghana Police Service (GPS), Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) will lead to a more effective and efficient complaint management system that will enable improvement in police accountability.
Mr. Whittal said this at the opening ceremony of a two-day stakeholder collaborative session under the theme “Strengthening Ghana Police Service and Civil Society Cooperation towards Effective Complaint Management, Case Handling And Improved Accountability in The Police Service” held in Accra.
The engagement was aimed at fostering cordial working relationships between the police, key CSOs and media involved in ensuring improved police accountability in compliant management.
He indicated that the engagement between the Commission, GPS, PPSB, CSOs would provide an opportunity to discuss the role of the GPS/PPSB in complaints management with regards unsatisfactory services and misconduct of police officers, as well as the role of the media and CSOs working on victims support and other related human rights cases based on their statutory and constitutional functions. This he explained, will be useful in building capacity of GPS/PPBS staff to handle and manage complaints.
“Feedback from the media and civil society organizations projects what the citizens’ want from you (police) so that you can appreciate what they expect from you and how they want you to perform your duties,” He added.
Mr. Phillip Niehenke, Manager, Country Component Ghana, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in his opening remarks indicated that the GPS agreed on several measures, one being a meaningful exchange between police and civil society mediated by CHRAJ.
He said, as Ghana’s Ombudsman, CHRAJ has a mandate to exercise oversight responsibility for all public institutions including the Police Service. CHRAJ has had engagements with the GPS hence understands its mandates and also works closely with CSOs on human rights-related cases as a result CHRAJ is in a good position to facilitate these planned engagements.
He urged participants to identify existing shortcomings in corporation between CSOs, the Police and media and how to improve on these in the future.
Mr. Neihenke added that “This exchange should not become a blame game, where stakeholders criticize each other but create a better understanding of each other roles in ensuring police accountability”.
CHRAJ with support from the GIZ has organized the first of many collaborative sessions between Ghana Police Service, the media and key CSOs, aimed at enhancing police accountability through knowledge sharing to foster cordial working relationships and networking among stakeholders.
The planned collaborative sessions which commenced today, June 8, 2022, are expected to end in July will go around the country, taking place in Tamale, Kumasi, Takoradi and Accra.