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We owe the peace and security enjoyed in Ghana to the law-abiding people of Ghana says IGP

“The peace and safety we enjoy in this country, I first and foremost attribute to the good people of Ghana and they deserve praise because majority are law abiding”  said the Inspector General of Police Mr David Asante-Apeatu. This powerful remark was made during a courstesy call on him by the UNFPA Country Representative Niyi Ojuolape on Wednesday 24 January 2018 at Ghana Police Headquarters.

The meeting itself was part of UNFPA’s  close andlong standing partnsership with the Ghana Police Service that dates  back to the 1980s with  Police AIDs control programme on their specific role in rights based policing  and reduction of rights abuses among the female sex workers (FSW) population as well the the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) unit in preventing and responding to various forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violece (SGBV) issues in the country.

One key achievement of UNFPA and the Ghana Police partnership is a functional data management system on issues of sexual and gender based violence ( SGBV), that was established. The system links up all  DOVVSU offices to the Headquaters for easy accessibility  of data for informed decision making. A training manual for the police training institutions to mainstream the teaching of SGBV, Human Rights and Stigma and Discrimination to ensure all police personnel have the knowledge and skills in management of SGBV cases was also developed and is being used. However, there remains the need for the Police hierarchy to ensure the information in the  manual is  integrated into the police training curricula as an examinable course.

Mr Ojuolape provided a brief on UNFPA’s new trasformational goal of ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths and ending gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices. He observed that  the Ghana Police Service as a law enforment agency has a critical role to play in contributing to these trasnformational golas particulaly that of ending genderbased violence. He lamented on the incidence of gang rapes in the news in recent times and pledged the Fund’s support in ensuring that not only is justice brought to the victims, but also see to their emotional rehabilitation. He encouraged the Police Service to prioritize the completion of the DOVVSU office complex which will also serve as  a one-stop-shop service center for victims of SGBV and related issues.

 “ As police who are to inform the public and prevent crime using information,, we must be well informed ourselves and evidence based information is what the data management platform presents hence my appreciation to UNFPA. I will however suggest that we upgrade the platform to include crimemap as this will  enable at a glance visualisation of crime spots. This will be an added value to the entire police service in crime prevention” Mr Asante-Apeatu said in commending UNFPA particularly on the functional data management system. He promised to work with UNFPA and other stakeholders to get the DOVVSU one-stop-shop  service center completed.

Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, Deputy Commissioner of Police incharge of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) said her participation in a just ended traning session for police personnel, brought her to the realisation that most of the personel are ingorant of some of the laws related to SGBV. She informed the meeting that her response has been to outline a series of capacilty building activities for her department and extended an invitation to UNFPA to be part of of this very important initiative.