The Faculty of Social Sciences of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, in collaboration with the Public Lectures Committee on Thursday, 11th August 2022, held a Public Lecture on the theme “The Changing Face of Policing in Ghana; Expectations and the Role of the University” at the KUNST School of Business (KSB) Auditorium C.
Rev. Sr. Professor Eugenia Amporfu, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, in her welcome address, indicated that the Lecture was organised to inform the University community of its role in helping the Ghana Police Service protect the public.
She further introduced Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), as the guest speaker of the Lecture.
The Vice-Chancellor of KNUST and Chairperson for the Lecture, Professor (Mrs.) Rita Akosua Dickson, in her address, revealed that the security of every society is a collective responsibility of all and sundry. Therefore, the University community must see matters of security as a shared responsibility and go through an all-hands-on-deck approach to enhance it.
The University community, she added, has a huge role to play to help the IGP and the Police Service in the kind of innovation and partnership they are bringing to the frontiers of policing in Ghana.
“I have no doubt in my mind that by the time this lecture is over, we all will be very clear in our minds what we can all do to help to ensure a safe, serene, and secured environment, where we can all get on with our lives and responsibilities without any fear,” she stated.
Professor (Mrs.) Dickson further admonished the attendees to make the Lecture re-invigorate in them new leads for research and advocacy that will strengthen the relationship between the Ghana Police Service, the academic community/intellectuals, universities, and surrounding communities. This, she said, is a synergistic relationship that must be nurtured with deep passion.
The Vice-Chancellor also assured the IGP and the Police Command of the University’s support to achieve this purpose.
Speaking at the Lecture, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare stated that KNUST should implement obligatory security awareness training. According to him, the initiative is necessary to imbue a security-conscious mindset among university students. According to him, the complexity of today's crimes has necessitated the implementation of such a system to instil in the populace the necessary information they need to adapt to the changing times.
He further indicated that policing will always be about the people, therefore, his team has put in place pragmatic steps to build on the achievements of its predecessors to become the best institution in the country.
"The current Police Administration recognises the significant role that communities, groups, individuals, and institutions such as the universities can play in helping deal with modern forms of crimes. Traditional policing methodologies had over the years been rendered largely ineffective, following the growing crime complexities with increasing calls for proactive, intelligence-led and citizen-led policing," he observed.
Universities, in his opinion, play a crucial role in teaching the nation's youth, who are the primary offenders of numerous crimes. Therefore, KNUST can help to transform the mindsets of these youths while also providing the police with research that will guide policing policies and crime control strategies.
The IGP also reviewed the traditional, colonial, and post-independence eras strategies of policing in Ghana, considering the historical journey, assessment, strategic alternatives, and Police Administration's expectations. Dr. Akuffo Dampare acknowledged the external reform efforts made throughout the years to strengthen policing in the country, including the Boye Committee Report (1971), Tibiru Report (1986), Ryan Report (1992), Archer Commission Report (1996), and Okudzeto Commission Report (2001).
He added that the present Police Administration was driving a leadership-driven command control to integrate professionalism into the Ghana Police Service structure at all levels.
To restore public faith and trust in the Ghana Police Service, he urged police officers to preserve high levels of honesty and discipline while performing their responsibilities. “Policing is about sacrifice and community service; therefore, people who join the service are required to work hard,” he stated.
He also revealed the intentions of the Police Administration to collaborate with Ghanaian universities in establishing intelligence and patrol teams to aid in the speedy resolution of crimes on campuses.
In his closing remarks, the IGP, Dr. Dampare, advised the public to take their safety duties seriously to complement the police's efforts successful. He stated that individuals are accountable for their safety first, then to others, and ultimately to the police.
He encouraged the public to be patient and have faith in the Police's adherence to the rule of law.
Present at the Lecture were the Ghana Police Service Administration, Ashanti Regional Police Commander and his team, KNUST Management, Senior and Junior members of the University and some traditional rulers, among others.