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General News of Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Police establish Complaints Commission to check misconduct

Interior Minister Mark Woyongo is confident the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will help deal with illegal conduct on the part of the police.

Addressing the media in Accra today, the Minister was confident the Commission will “make the police more accountable for their actions and inactions”.

The Commission was established by the Interior Ministry together with the police management board and some civil society, he explained.

Mr. Woyongo further stated that the establishment will oversee complaints against police and officers.

“It is our considered opinion that the establishment of this Commission would provide the police with the robust and functionary independent and accountability mechanism in line with international best practices and standards,” the Minister said.

Civil society organisations have been leading the campaign on the establishment of an IPCC because they felt that the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) Bureau had failed in its objective to deal with professional infringements by police officers.

Stakeholders were initially divided over whether the Commission should be hosted by the Ministry of the Interior, or the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, or be an independent body.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) which made a strong case for the Commission’s establishment said the Commission is long overdue.

Mina Mensah of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative was not impressed about how long it took the ministry to establish the Commission.

“I thought they will say the process has already started,” she told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Newsnite.

She also suspected that the lack of political will could be blamed for the delay. She was worried that “most of the things police claim they are investigating we don’t hear anything about them”.

When he launched a campaign to “reaffirm public confidence in the Ghana police service” in March last year, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Alhassan said document on the establishment of the Commission had been submitted to the Ministry of Interior.

Independent Police Complaints Commission, he explained, “which shall be a civilian oversight body within the Ministry of the Interior to assist in addressing police indiscipline and accountability in the country.”

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police has rejected criticisms his administration is shielding officers implicated in the Police Recruitment Scandal that rocked the country early this year.

The police administration interdicted COP Patrick Timbilla and other top officials for their alleged involvement in the recruitment scam.

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition is unhappy the police have failed to make public their report on the scam six months after they instituted investigations into the case.

The anti-corruption group thinks the police are struggling to deal with its corrupt officers.

But Mr. Alhassan says investigations are still ongoing.