Ghana Police Service
- Strategic Reforms
The Ghana Police Service is the primary State law enforcement Agency in the Country and operates under the Ministry for the Interior. The Service has been constitutionally mandated to perform the statutory functions of crime prevention and detection, apprehension and prosecution of offenders, maintenance of law and order and ensuring the safety of persons and property.
The Service has evolved over the years from a section of the 1879 Gold Coast Constabulary, to the Ghana Police Force in March 1957 and to the Ghana Police Service since 1970. These transitional changes were in line with the political evolutions of the country as it moved gradually towards the current democratic dispensation.
The vision of the Ghana Police Service is to be a world-class police service capable of delivering planned democratic, proactive and peaceful services up to the standards of international best practice.
The Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service in Accra houses the Police Management Board (POMAB) headed by the Inspector-General of Police with Schedule Officers for various Directorates and Departments who support the day-to-day administration of the entire Police Service.
Current Members of the Police Management Board
Inspector-General of Police Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan
COP Mrs Joana Osei-Poku, Director-General – Police Intelligence and Professional Standards
COP Ms Rose Bio Atinga, Director-General – Administration
COP Mr John Kudalor, Director-General - Operations
COP Mr Prosper Kwame Agblor, Director-General – Criminal Investigations Department
COP Mr David Asante-Apeatu, Director-General – Research & Planning/ICT
COP Mr Stephen Andoh-Kwofie, Director-General – Welfare
COP Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, Director-General – Services
COP Mr Frank Adu-Poku, Director-General – Technical
COP Mr Patrick Eden Timbillah, Director-General – Human Resource Development
COP Dr George A. Dampare, Director-General – Finance
DCOP Dr Godfred Asiamah, Director-General – Medics
DCOP Rev. David N. Ampah-Bennin, Director-General – Public Affairs Directorate
DCOP Osabarima Oware Asare Pinkro III, Director-General – Special Duties
DCOP Mr Angwubotoge Awuni, Director-General – Motor Traffic and Transport Department
ACP Emmanuel B. Ashong, Director-General/Patrols
ACP Mr Frank Sammy Kwofie, Director-General/Legal
Chief Supt. Mr Francis Ayitey Aryee, Acting Chief Staff Officer
The Service has a nation-wide jurisdiction and for its effective administration, the country has been demarcated into 11 Police Regions closely following the 10 Political Regions of the country. Each Police Region is headed by a Regional Police Commander. The Regions are further sub-divided into Police Divisions, Districts, Stations and Posts but maintaining a hierarchical structure and unity of command.
With a Police/Civilian Population ratio of 1:842 in a country of approximately 26.653 million inhabitants, the Service still needs to increase its personnel strength to meet the UN recommended ratio.
In addition to the Police Academy, the Ghana Police Command & Staff College was inaugurated in 2013 and the Public Safety Training School began providing courses in 2014. The Detective Training School which has been reconstructed and reactivated, offers training courses in crime detection.
In the area of personnel welfare and morale, a lot is being done to improve accommodation, financial benefits and general living conditions. The provision of housing facilities, water and shuttle bus services are all geared towards those goals. Steps are also underway to establish a Police Bank to facilitate the financial transactions of personnel. The Police Hospitals and Clinics cater for health needs of personnel and their dependents. The main hospital is being expanded to support the existing facilities.
There is also the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit, which seeks to create an environment where domestic violence and other forms of abuse would be freely reported and to collaborate with stakeholders to provide co-ordinated and timely response to victims. The Unit has 100 offices across the country.
Currently, 262 police personnel are serving in eight United Nations and African Union Missions around the world and their performances have been highly rated. With the establishment of the FPU, more personnel would soon be deployed to support International Peacekeeping operations.
With substantial financial and logistical support from the government, the Police Service and its sister State security agencies have played a significant role in Ghana’s status as an island of peace in a sub-region of turbulence.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan was enlisted into the Ghana Police Service in 1979 as a Chief Inspector of Police, graduating from the Police College in 1980 as Assistant Superintendent of Police, with honours.
Mr Mohammed Alhassan has held many Command Appointments nationally and internationally. In Ghana, he has served as a practical career officer in all command levels from the field to the Headquarters until his appointment first as Acting IGP in February 2013 and later as substantive IGP in May, the same year.
Contribution to Police Development
IGP Mr Mohammed A. Alhassan has provided and continued to provide a wide range of law enforcement advice, guidance, direction as well as reforms and restructuring initiatives in the Ghana Police Service and various Police and National Law Enforcement Agencies across the world. He is credited with the introduction of the on-going proactive policing novelty of visibility and accessibility by establishing the Patrol Department. The patrol now serves as a flagship programme of the Ghana Police Service and has received wide public commendation. His introduction of the Public Confidence Re-Affirmation Programme is also re-kindling public trust and confidence in the Police. He is also known for the restructuring of the hitherto Armoured Car Squadron into the Formed Police Unit to meet international standards. In addition to this, the establishment of the Pwalugu Practice Training School for public safety is his brain child. This has enhanced the public order management capacity of the Service. The establishment of the Ghana Police Command and Staff College at Winneba, second of its kind in the ECOWAS sub-region after Nigeria, was another practical proactive intervention by Mr Alhassan to build greater police capacity to provide effective law enforcement services.
He also reactivated and re-launched the Marine Police Unit, hitherto called the Water Police. Since 1916 until its disbandment in 1942, the Marine Police has continued to assist in maintaining law and order, protecting life and property and promoting safe maritime transport in our territorial waters and in-land waterways.
Mr Alhassan is further widely credited with the introduction of the Community Policing/Neighbourhood watch concept in Ghana in 1984 whilst a District Officer at Adabraka the Tent City Policing concept in Tema as Regional Commander and the establishment of the Highway Patrol Unit at the Police HQ as the Deputy Commissioner Operations, as part of innovations to make the Police more responsive to violent crime such as armed robbery in the country.
His initiative, good operational planning and innovation have also significantly contributed to the widely applauded Police professional feats and crowd management standards achieved in recent high profile public events in the country. His policing of demonstrations and labour disputes have been underpinned with democratic principles.
International Appointments and Contributions
At international level, IGP Mr Mohammed Alhassan has held various appointments with the United Nations. He was appointed Interim United Nations Police Advisor to the UN Secretary-General at the UNHQ, New York in 2007, having been earlier appointed UN Police Deputy Commissioner and then Commissioner for the UN Mission in Liberia in 2005. Between 1999 and 2003, Mr Alhassan was appointed Desk Officer at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, responsible for Mission Management in Europe, Latin America and Middle-East. He also served as Station and District commander with the UN Mission in Namibia (UNTAG) and International Police Task Force (IPTF) Weapon Instructor in Bosnia Herzegovina. He has extensive legacies in UN circles including the present reforms and restructuring initiatives of the Liberian National Police. His initiatives and contributions as Police Advisor to the UN Secretary-General contributed to the establishment of the Standing Police Capacity, rejuvenate/rescue and sustain police roles in UN Peacekeeping Missions around the world.
He successfully completed studies in National and International Security at the John Kennedy School, Harvard University, Boston USA. He also holds an MSc Degree in Police Administration and Criminology from the University of Cardiff, UK and a BA Degree in Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. He has attended numerous management and leadership training programmes, across the world as a resource person. Between 1987 and 1999, he was a Lecturer at the University of Ghana (Police Administration). He is currently the Chairman of the West African Police Chiefs Committee, a specialised institution of ECOWAS.
IGP Mr Alhassan has made extensive presentations, research and write-up contributions – national and International seminars/workshops – on varied Policing areas, including Ghana Police, Forces of Order; Community Policing in Ghana; Internal Crisis Management – Ghana Police Service Roles; Capabilities and Limitations; The Role of the United Nations Civilian Police in UN Peacekeeping Operations; Policing Election – Election Security, etc.
The current Police Administration has adopted several reforms and restructuring interventions aimed at transforming it from a reactive to a proactive Police Service. These reforms are legally backed by several enabling instruments and statutes.
The flagship programme of the reform agenda is the establishment of a Patrol Department which currently operates static vehicle and foot patrols at strategic locations, covert patrols at shopping malls and motorbike patrols in various communities. Primary focus is on visibility and accessibility patrols to deter criminals and traffic offenders and also make themselves accessible to the public to receive complaints and enquiries or offer assistance.
Police vehicles are also strategically located to ensure police visibility with vehicles lit up at night to assure the public of the police’s presence and consequently their safety and security. These, together with the currently on-going Public Confidence Re-Affirmation campaign are re-kindling the trust reposed in the Police.
The activities of the Patrol Department are complemented by the Community Policing concept and practice, a fundamental concept in democratic policing. The Unit mobilises members of communities to participate actively in community-based crime management programmes to promote goodwill and mutual understanding between the police and the community.
The Ghana Police Service is also decentralising its operations, devolving operational and financial authority to Regional, Divisional and District Commanders to enable them to meet contingencies. Decentralisation of Police Headquarters’ Control of Operations, CID and MTTU, is enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of police services. A National Operations and Situation Centre has been established at Police Headquarters and runs 24/7 to co-ordinate the decentralised operational activities nationwide.
Decentralisation is being accompanied by the re-organisation of the CID to enhance its crime scene specialist skills, application of ICT, forensic and financial crime solving capabilities. This involves the realignment of units with similar roles, the acceleration of training of detectives, specialist recruitment and effective deployment.
The Marine Police Unit, disbanded in 1942 was re-launched in 2013 to undertake surveillance, monitoring and enforcement of Ghana’s maritime laws. This is a crucial step towards ensuring the protection of Ghana’s rapidly growing oil and gas industry.
A standard Formed Police Unit (FPU) has been established and it has already played a central role in ensuring public order in the Country particularly during the 2012 elections dispute in court and also in managing demonstrations and civil unrests.