The Ghana Police Service on Tuesday launched its Transformation Programme anchored on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in dealing with sophisticated crimes in the society and ensuring safety for citizens and rapid response to emergency situations.
The Service had launched Police website and other social media platforms such as twitter, Instagram and Facebook to engage and receive feedback from the public.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, who said this at the launch of the Programme in Accra, said the Service intended to become a world class organisation, the best in Africa and top 10 in the world in the next 10 years.
He said the programme reflected the ideals of the Police Service and democratic values that were relevant to the public, change public perception about the Police and become responsive to change.
He said ICT remained central in the transformation agenda, therefore, the Service would provide the necessary training and logistics to the police personnel such as weapons, uniforms, helicopters and boats for the marine police to achieve the objectives of the programme.
He said the Service had received eight drones from its strategic partners to improve the efficiency of the Police in the regions.
Mr Asante-Apeatu said the vision of the Service was to be a world class institution capable of delivering planned, democratic, protective and peaceful services up to the standards of international best practice.
Currently, he said, the Service is ranked eighth in Africa and 87th out of 127 countries, according to a report released by the World Internal Security and Police Index.
Mr Asante-Apeatu said the transformation agenda was anchored on the 13 strategic goals of the government and the five key thematic areas: namely, ensuring the welfare of the officers on the ground, revamping the Community Policing and the Criminal Investigation Department, as well as putting the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) at its rightful position to monitor internal affairs of the Police and Information and Communication Technology.
The IGP explained that, in order to achieve the vision of the programme, it would bring everybody on board.
“We take our reference from the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations number 16, which is the President’s Strategic Goal for the Police,” he said.
Mr Asante-Apeatu said the implementation of the strategic goals involved the Interior Minister, the Police Management Board and the Regional Police Commanders, as well as the Police Divisions and Districts and the various police stations.
“When we are all focused and on the same platform, it facilitates the achievement of our goals.
“Scheduled officers and regional commanders are to submit their work plans, which would be integrated into the national Integrated Police Work Plan for 2018 to monitor and evaluate the activities of all commanders,” he stated.
The IGP said the scheduled officers and the regional police commanders were supposed to submit their reports to him at the end of every month to facilitate the monitoring of their performance.
He said the Police had faced difficult challenges in the effort to maintain safe communities and needed to adapt in order to meet the changing political, social and economic circumstances.
He mentioned increasing population, high movement of people across the West African Sub-region and unemployment, as well as the advancement in technology and the emergence of electronic commerce, hence, the need for new type of policing to manage the situation to ensure a peaceful and stable society.
He said it had digitised some of the police stations and individuals could locate stations using their google maps to facilitate effective policing.
It had also established pre-command centres with the state-of-the-art equipment to handle emergency calls.
More so, he said, 40 police officers were trained in Geographic Information System to enable them to analyse, interpret and to understand certain patterns of crimes and the hot-spots of ascertain types of crimes to ensure effective deployment.
Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Omanhene of Asante Juaben and Chairman of the Council of State, who launched the Ghana Police Transformation Programme, said he was inspired by the leadership role of the IGP in reforming and transforming the Police Service.
He said peace and security were critical in sustaining any democratic society, noting that, “No investor will invest in a country where there is no security”.
He urged the Police Administration to execute the 13 strategic goals in a meticulous manner since those objectives were anchored in the government agenda of ensuring a peaceful and crime-free society.
He said introduction of technology in policing cannot be compromised and urged all well-meaning Ghanaians to support the Police Transformation Agenda, saying; “Technology is the main driver for effective policing”.
Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, in a speech read on his behalf, said transforming the Police Service required holistic and strategic approach and government was committed to supporting the agenda.
The event attracted high profile personalities, including members of the Police Management Board, senior police officers, chiefs, retired police officers and key stakeholders in the Police Administration.