Scrap quota system in recruiting security personnel
For far too long, the security agencies have come under fire for misconducts by some bad lots within the system.
For example, the public’s perception of the Police Service for a long time now is not flattering at all.
The police continue to be the most bribe-taking institution in Ghana, according to Ghana Integrity Initiative.
The increasing involvement of security personnel in criminal activities, including robbery and drug trafficking, is a cause for worry.
For example, last year, two policemen – General Lance Corporal Robert Fenning Amponsah and General Lance Corporal Isaac Nimako Yeboah – were arrested for using official vehicle to commit robbery.
A total of 947 policemen and women have been dismissed from the Ghana Police Service for various acts of misconduct within three years ending 2012. In 2013, 108 were dismissed while 21 have been sacked in the first quarter of this year.
Only two weeks ago, one Chief Inspector Paul Akpali of the Golokwati Police Station was interdicted for escorting seven bags of substances suspected to be Indian hemp.
In August 2013, Lance Corporal, Benjamin Tekutey of the Kakeito Police Station under the Ashaiman Division, managed to provide his civilian friend with a police uniform and they both attacked a Chinese national, Xiangmen, and his two friends at gunpoint around the Tetteh-Quarshie roundabout.
Two soldiers - Lance Corporals Michael Gwira Forkes, 25, and Dickson Reuben, 26 – were also arrested by the police for robbery.
In November 2012, two soldiers – Cpl. Opoku Amankwa and L/Cpl. Adu Owusu Prince – were arrested for their alleged involvement in the robbing and kidnapping of a Nigerian trader resident in Ghana.
The Ashanti Regional Police Command arrested two prison officers and two civilian accomplices believed to be members of a robbery syndicate operating in the region.
Lance Corporal Prince Quaye, 27, and 2nd Class Officer Adu Mensah, 26, both serving warders at Amanfrom Camp Prison in the region, were caught red-handed.
A security expert has attributed the increasing involvement of security personnel in criminal activities to inadequate scrutiny during recruitment of personnel into the various security services.
The expert specifically cited the practice where senior officers of the security services are given quotas which enable them to bring people to gain automatic entry into the services.
The security expert said top officers are normally given a quota of two persons each for enlistment, often described as protocol.
The expert said the practice impacts negatively on the integrity of security services as criminals and members of organised crime groups find their way into them.
What is more worrying is the negative impact on the integrity of security services as criminals and members of organised crime groups find their way into the services.
The revelation by the security expert that a greater percentage of officers caught engaging in criminal activities have been found to be those recruited through the quota system, in which little or no background checks are conducted, calls for the scrapping of the quota system in recruitment.
The Finder believes that it is not too late for the security services to salvage their sinking image and loss of public confidence arising out of the criminal activities of some personnel.