Accra, 31 October 2019 - Effective communication with citizens, the media and civil society is a critical pillar for law enforcement agencies who can guarantee democratic life, rule of law and respect for human rights for all men and women. Informed and educated citizens can identify crimes, and be a critical ally to ensure accountable institutions and the rule of law.
To this end, citizens need to see the Police as an accountable agent in charge of protecting and guaranteeing their rights. Similarly, the Police needs to see citizens as right bearers and clients to protect and support, rather than potential law-breakers.
The GPS is very much aware of this, and as part of their efforts to strengthen communication with citizens, the Service has invested in and improved their digital communication channels (website, social media, whatsapp).
In an effort to strengthen professionalism and communication capacities of the Ghana Police Service, the European Union through its Accountability Rule of law and Anti-corruption Programme (ARAP) has worked jointly with the Ghana Police Service to develop and roll out a comprehensive training of trainers for senior police officers targeting vital areas of policing, under the name of “Communicating with Communities”
Officers undergoing this training gain, through practical exercises, a critical understanding of key tenets of communication and how to effectively - and in full compliance with international standards – communicate with citizens, the media and civil society.
This training course has been developed to improve effective communication skills for officers responsible for managing police districts and police stations across Ghana.
The course targets those competencies that relate to the effective deployment of operational officers who are responsible for routine patrol tasks, initial response, traffic duties, station duties and front-line policing in general.
This vital initiative is about changing the culture of operational policing in Ghana to ensure the highest levels of professional conduct and integrity and recognising patrol officers as the valued and important point of contact with citizens. This is the overall aim of the course: to build upon the existing good practice across Ghana and introduce minimum standards of operational police management.
This is not a revolution, but an evolution in the continual improvements to the service the GPS provides to the public.
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