Is The Ghana Police Service Ready For 21st Century Policing?
At this point, if you asked the average Ghanaian about how they feel about the police, it’s very likely the response will be negative.
Stories in the mainstream news don’t always paint Ghana Police in the best light. Stories from extortion of money, intimidation and sometimes incompetence seem to shadow the Ghana Police force whenever they are talked about in public.
In this day and age of technology, how well equipped are the Ghana Police in dealing with everyday crimes in the city and other areas in Ghana?
Big brother is already watching
At the moment, there has been a deployment of 1000 cameras throughout some areas in Ghana for monitoring and surveillance.
Some of the cameras have been installed at traffic intersections, border posts and key national installations across the country.
The Ghana police now have digitised call centres and handsets that help with the capture of videos and the identity of callers.
The centres are equipped with communication devices, including CCTV monitoring screen and digital trunking networks that are connected to other centres in Kumasi and Tamale.
The Kumasi Centre monitors the Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono, Bono EastandEastern regions, while the Tamale centre monitors the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
The Accra Centre, which is the headquarters, also monitors the Greater Accra, Central, Western, Western North, Volta and Oti regions.
The police will also have two-way SMS policing to enhance communication between the public and the police.
The Inspector General of the Police said the next phase of the police digitisation project named “Alpha 2”, would be the introduction of Location Based Systems (LBS) into the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the Police Emergency Command Centre to enable the exact location of callers to be generated on-screen.
An additional 8,000 cameras is expected to be deployed throughout the country to beef up security at public places, including private properties.
The Ghana Police Service administration has stated as part of its efforts to enhance police transparency, will deploy body cameras to its officers.
Police Body cameras are small devices equipped with a camera and a sound recording device. The cameras are equipped to a police officer’s chest to capture video.
The Police Service recently took delivery of about 300 Body Cameras and are expected to receive about 3000 by the end of the year.
A sign of improved operations to come
It would seem that the Ghana Police appear to be leveraging technology to help with their day to day operations. However there are still ways to go especially when it comes to criminal databases, computerised and interconnect Police stations.
But this could be a good start for the Ghana Police to be on top of things.