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Brief facts about The Ghana Police Service

GPS History
Professional policing was introduced by the British Colonial Authorities to the Gold Coast now the Republic of Ghana in 1821. Prior to that, policing or maintenance of law and order was organized by the traditional authorities such as the local headsmen and chiefs, who employed unpaid messengers to carry out the executive and judicial functions in their respective communities. In 1894, the Institution of Police was formalized with the passing of the Police Ordinance which gave legal authority for the formation of a civil police force..

In 1902 the force was split into General, Escort, Mines and Railway Police, which was legalized by the Police [Amendment] Ordinance of 1904.

The Marine Police was formed in 1916 but disbanded in 1942 and replaced by Customs Excise and Preventive Service.The Criminal Investigation Department [CID] was formed in 1921 with the finger print section fully operational in 1922.

In 1948, the Police Reserves Unit was formed to combat riotous mobs, following the 1948 riots in the country.The wireless and Communications Unit was formed in 1950 with the formal opening of the Police Information Room in Accra by the then Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Charles Noble Arden Clark, in June 1950.

By 1952, a large number of Africans were enlisted into the Police Force as junior officers. The women branch of the service was then established, to be responsible for Juvenile crimes and offences committed by women. .

In 1958, the first Ghana Police Commissioner, Mr. E. R. T. Madjitey was appointed to head the service.



The Ghana Police Service as it is now called has as its motto “Service with Integrity”.
The functions of the Ghana Police Service as stated in the Police Service  Act, 1970 [Act 350] of Ghana are as follows:

  • Crime detection and prevention
  • Apprehension (arrest) and prosecution of offenders
  • Maintenance of law and order
  • Due enforcement of the law


The governing body of the Police is the Police Council which is made up of the following:

  • A chairman who shall be appointed by the president acting in consultation with the Council of State.
  • The Minister responsible for the Interior.
  • The Inspector-General of Police.
  • The Attorney-General or his representative
  • A lawyer nominated by the Ghana Bar association.
  • A representative of the Retired Senior Police Officers Association.
  • Two members of the Police Service, appointed by the President, acting in consultation with Council of State, one of whom shall be of a junior rank: and
  • Two other members appointed by the President.
  • The Police Council advises the President on matters relating to internal security.
  • The 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana also makes provision for the establishment of Regional Police Committees in all the ten Administrative regions of Ghana.
  • The Regional Police Committees are to advise the Police Council on any matter relating to the administration of the Police Service in the region.