The Ghana Police Service has reacted to the latest Afrobarometer report that cited the Police as the most perceived corrupt public institution in the country, ABC News has gathered.
According to the Police, although it will not question the credibility of the report, issues of corruption associated with the Police had always been a matter of perception.
The Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Commissioner of Police David Eklu, in an interview with Citi FM, indicated that those perceptions existed because the public are not widely informed about Police procedures.
He said following a similar Afrobarometer report in 2017, which also found the Police as the most corrupt public institution, the Police administration invited the various anti-graft agencies to brainstorm ways to combat the canker.
He said the Police has since instituted some pragmatic measures targeted at enhancing its engagement with the public and work together to nip the canker in the bud.
“The survey seems to be back-flogging an issue especially when it comes to perception. I remember when the 2017 Survey was launched, we invited all the anti corruption agencies to the Police Headquarters where the various issues concerning this perception were discussed. We explained that these are issues about perception and because of the nature of the work we do, that perception might always prevail.
“But there are certain interventions that the Police administration has put in place since then to create more awareness about Police procedures, the services they will provide especially in the area of bail, and recently we have even launched a hotline where people can call and lodge complaints. So we have taken pragmatic steps, ACP Eklu said.
The latest Afrobaromenter survey found the Police as the most perceived corrupt public institution in the country, followed by judges and magistrates, Members of Parliament, civil servants, and tax officials.
“The police are the institution that the largest number of citizens report bribing to access services. Among those who had contact with key public services during the previous year, four in 10 say they paid a bribe to avoid problems with the police (42%) or to obtain police assistance (39%),” it found.
The survey showed that the Army, religious leaders, and the presidency were seen as the most trusted public institutions while opposition political parties, local government officials and tax officials are least trusted.
ACP Eklu appealed to the CDD to furnish the Police with the full report to enable the Police administration identify the various indicators that informed the findings to guide its programmes and policies.
He also urged the civil society organisation to collaborate with the Police in its efforts to wean the Service off corrupt practices as corruption eradication “is a collective responsibility.”
“I believe that the CDD is one of the CSOs that is working to strengthen public institutions and they must work to strengthen the institutions so that we can look at the ways to reduce these perceptions of corruption. But I am not seeing that collaboration from them. There is more work that both of us have to do to reduce this perception of corruption, ” he said.