Kidnapping not new in Ghana – Minister

Ambrose Dery

Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of Interior, has commended the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) for helping reduce kidnapping cases in the country.

“I hear people trying to make kidnapping a new phenomenon. It is not new. Ghana for the past eight years had recorded 504 kidnaping cases between 2011 and 2019,” he noted.

He was addressing Regional, Divisional and District Crime Officers at the opening of a two-day annual conference dubbed “Addressing the challenges of contemporary investigations for effective prosecution; the role of investigators”.

Mr Dery said in 2013, there were 77 reported cases, 2014 had 76 whereas 2018 chalked 58 and 2019 has scored 47 so far and noted that effective investigations revealed that 21 of the 2019 cases were false, reducing the number to 26.

The Member of Parliament for Nandom giving the breakdown, said Accra recorded six, Ashanti-five,  Brong Ahafo-four and two in the Western Regions with 10 out of the suspects standing trial and 17 victims were rescued.

He said the CID had to be encouraged for the strides made in its improved performance.

Mr Ambrose Dery urged the officers to come-up with a road map for criminal investigations and their role as effective crime officers.

He said the onus was on government to equip them with the requisite knowledge and skills as well as modern communication tools to enhance their work.

Government was determined to retool the entire Police Service to enhance professionalism and improved service delivery, he said.

He said government was also determined to create a responsive, effective and accountable police service that would work to expectations of all stakeholders.

Incentives such as promotion of personnel from Constable to Chief Inspectors in areas such as the five regions in the north, Brong Ahafo and Volta, one year ahead of their colleagues, among others would be done to motivate them.

“Be reminded of your oath to protect and defend the good people of Ghana and all residents in the country, your action should not dampen the spirit of the citizens who see you as their shield against criminals,” he advised.

He urged them not to relent on their responsibilities irrespective of the challenges and be ready to tackle new trends of crimes, head-on as there would be refresher courses to help handle them.

Mr Dery said crime investigators played a special role in the criminal justice system, so they should conduct proper investigations for justice to prevail rather than letting criminals of the hook at the end of the day.

The Minister said though they may be “demonized” in carrying out their duties, they should not give up as they were serving humanity, adding that government would ensure they were all motivated.

They should up their game in the gathering, processing and analyzing data as far as criminal investigations were concerned, he added.

Mr Dery urged them to be innovative and collaborate with those in academia for support in the course of their duty as well as share their experiences to enrich their work.

Mr James Oppong Boanuh, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) said the officers would take stock of their practices, identify gaps and finds best practices going forward.

He said the only remedy to address organized and violent crimes depended on quality detectives and their ability to investigate and prosecute criminal cases.

The IGP said his administration would complement government’s effort by reducing violent and organized crime to consolidate internal peace and security.

Commissioner of Police (COP) Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaah Addo-Danquah, the Director General for CID, asked the crime officer to properly investigate cases to help save innocent persons.

“As part of our commitment to serve Ghana better, we together with the University of Cape Coast Department of Forensics have come up with a crime scene training manual as a guide to investigators”.

Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecutions, advised the officers to network with other security agencies locally and abroad to make their work easier.

They should not allow the media to coerce them into giving information that would hinder their investigations.

Chief Superintendents of Police Mr Sampson Agbeko and Mr Reynolds Manteaw, the Crime Officers of Upper East and West, respectively, were recognized and would be presented with laptop computers for their outstanding performance.

The IGP was also presented with a portrait of himself by Peace Watch Ghana for his commitment so far.

Source: GNA

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