The Ghana Police Service, established by a 1970 Act of Parliament replaced the erstwhile Ghana Police Force. This reflected a new emphasis on serving society rather than forcefully maintaining the political, economic and societal status quo.
The Ghana Police Service’s constitutional mandate is to maintain law and order, protect lives and property, prevent and detect crime, apprehend and prosecute offenders.
The vision of the Service is to be a world class police service, capable of delivering planned democratic, proactive and peaceful services, up to standards of international best practice.
The Service has over the years discharged its mandate with a commendable degree of success but to meet contemporary policing needs of society, the present Police Administration has adopted a paradigm shift in policy direction. It is a shift from reactive policing to proactive policing; focusing on crime prevention and this has been legally grounded in the relevant statutes and regulations including C.I. 76, Ghana Police Handbook, and Code of Conduct/Ethics.
Central to this new approach is the establishment of the Patrol Division, which now serves as the flagship programme of a wider, reform agenda for the Service. The patrol strategy is serving as a pro-active deterrence to crime supported by the re-invigorated Community Policing Unit which partners communities to provide security.
The increased visibility in communities has reduced the fear of crime among law-abiding citizens, and along with the introduction of the Public Confidence Re-affirmation Programme, is also re-kindling the trust and confidence of the public in the Police.
Also, the strategic consolidation of the hitherto, multiple and over-lapping para-military units in the Service into a functional whole and the decentralization of police operations, CID and the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit is enhancing effectiveness and efficiency of policing services.
The Marine Police Unit has been revived to protect the budding oil and gas industry; whilst the Formed Police Unit (FPU) has been established. The FPU paid a central role in ensuring public order during the Country’s 2012 elections dispute in court and also in managing demonstrations and civil unrests.
The effectiveness of the paradigm shift in the strategic approach of the Service is reflected in ; a lowering of the rate of vehicle accidents in urban areas; diminished rate of petty theft; general drop in the rate of carjacking; and improved police response time to distress calls.
There is a sound training regime in place supported by the establishment of the Ghana Police Command and Staff College and the Police Public Safety Training School and the re-activation of the Detective Training School.
All this has been made possible with the support of Government, injecting logistical support including vehicles and communication equipment into the Service.
The Ghana Police Service has undergone profound change, which has given the general public cause to laud the Service, even as it raises its expectations from the Service into the future.