Chief Superintendent Laurencia Wilhelmina Akorli, the Director of Community Policing at the Ghana Police Service, has stressed the need for the Service to integrate child-friendly policing into its operations to serve as information source in the execution of their mandate.
She said every potential caller to the police stations, including children, must be assisted and listened to for information in ensuring peace and security.
Chief Superintendent Akorli said children were critical in information gathering when it came to robbery and gang attacks among other social crimes and, therefore, must not be scared off from the Police.
She said they must be encouraged through child friendly counters and centres to encourage them to give tip-offs to the Police.
Chief Supt. Akorli was speaking at a four-day workshop on integrating child-friendly policing in the operations of the Ghana Police Service for children who had come into contact or conflict with the law.
Children constitute 45 per of the country’s population and continued to suffer abuses in one form or another.
She said over the years the Police had not effectively engaged children very well as well as responding to their concerns and needs.
The training was, therefore, to help them to update their knowledge on standard operating procedures to respond to cases or complaints of children in a manner that recognised their welfare as well as their specialised needs in the Justice system.
Chief Supt. Akorli said the training, supported by UNICEF, was geared towards making the Service more child-friendly and uphold the rights of children in the justice delivery system.
“The training of the Police personnel in the Region was to make them change agents for their peers, in promoting and building capacity in child-friendly policing,” she said.
Chief Supt. Akorli, therefore, called on the various units including the anti-trafficking, SWOT, and DOVVSU to properly handle issues concerning children for the best results.
She said the Service was committed to ensuring a specialised approach for handling children taking into account their vulnerability, personality, needs for education, emotions, mental and intellectual maturity.