The Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau of the Ghana Police Service says 108 Police Officers were dismissed between January 2011 and June 2013 after they were found guilty of various offences.
The Ghana Country Report of the Human Rights Commission available to the Bureau said 132 officers were reduced in rank and 239 received warnings with another 433 cases pending.
This was revealed by Mr. Mustapha Abdallah, Research Officer at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Accra, at a seminar organized by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in commemoration of UN Day in support of victims of torture.
The seminar, comprising of security agencies, including the Prisons Service and the Immigration Service is on the theme: “Eliminating Torture: A crime against humanity.”
He said the legal framework governing the work of the police is the Ghana Police Service Act 1970 (Act 350) and that the Inspector-General of Police has overall responsibility for the prevention of crime, the enforcement of law and order, the promotion of the safety of citizens and respect for human rights.
According to Mr. Abdallah the situation on the ground regarding the practice of torture or ill-treatment by the police is in relation to abuses in some cases during arrest, transfer to police stations and interrogation, but there was no evidence that those abuses were part of a widespread pattern or systemic practice.
He said a study conducted at the Nkawkaw Central Police station, Ejisu Police station, the Cape Coast regional Police station and Kotokuraba Central police station noted that traumatic scars on inmates’ bodies were consistent with allegations of beatings with canes or batons.
Mr. Abdallah said at the Nkawkaw Police station, the report examined two detainees who had physical injuries, which were consistent with their testimonies of recent beatings by fists or blunt instruments used by police during the course of their arrests, transportation and, in particular, interrogation.
“The majority of the detainees interviewed by the Special Rapporteur had no complaints about their treatment by prison officials, although they sometimes alleged ill-treatment by the police” the report stated.
Mr. Abdallah added that over-crowding is a major problem in the prisons, stressing that the level of over-crowding and the ratio of prison staff to prisoners is severely distorted.
He fingered the Kumasi Central prison as one of the most densely overpopulated, where the officer-inmate ratio is 1:20 rather than the recommended 1:4.
Ms Laureta Vivian Lamptey, Commissioner for the CHRAJ, said June 26, is a day set aside by the UN globally to raise awareness as well as remind all about the need to guard against any acts that undermined the dignity of the individual or groups.
She said Ghana is party to the UN Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and has a responsibility to implement the tenets of the international instrument.
Ms Lamptey said the objective of the seminar was to ensure that participants understood the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners and developed a more humane strategy for handling suspected criminals including arrest and retrieval of information during investigation.