Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Deborah Addison-Campbell, Commanding Officer, National Police Training School, is urging the public to stop scaring children with police arrest as a mean of making them behave properly at home.
ACP Addison-Campbell said such acts put fear in the children and perceive the police as terrible people hence their inability to confide or report crimes pepertrated against them to the law enforcement agency.
She said parents and other stakeholders must rather teach the children the mandate of the Police to enforce the laws of the country.
"We are friends of society, we only enforce the law and pursue people who had committed crimes as defined by the law, "she added.
She gave the admonishment on Thursday at the opening of a two-day training programme on Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for handling Children for 50 police officers within the Tema Police Regional Command.
She noted that about 45 per cent of Ghana's population were children therefore the need for stakeholders to nurture and guide them well into the future.
She reminded police men and women not to refer to children aged below 18 who offend the law as suspects or accused persons but rather as juvenile offenders or children in conflict with the law.
ACP Addison-Campbell said to increase children's access to justice in Ghana through improved and sustainable police practices, the Ghana Police Service after a research conducted by UNICEF decided to integrate child-friendly policing into all its curriculum, promotional exams,the SOP, and the Service Instructions.
She said since the introduction of the initiative, over 10,000 have been oriented on it while about 3,000 officials were taking the training nationwide concurrently.
The training, she stated, would strengthen the capacity in the protection of children who came into contact with the law in Ghana.
She indicated that participants would also gain knowledge on the developmental stages of children, in addition to knowledge of endorsement and implementation of child rights.
Other training benefits were:skills on high ethical standards for dealing with children in contact with the law (child offenders, children witnesses, and victims).
ACP Addison-Campbell appealed to the public to help the police to provide child-friendly services to children.
ACP Ernest Owusu, Deputy Tema Regional Police Commander, urged participants to actively participate in the training and apply to their daily interactions with the public especially children.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.