Ghana Police Service Instructions
The Police Handbook is made by the Inspector-General of Police under powers vested in him by the 1992 Constitution and the Police Service Act, 1970 (Act 350). It is intended to serve as a quick reference for Police personnel in their day-to-day duties to enhance their competences and ensure efficient service delivery to the public. It has been made very handy to fit in the pocket and personnel are encouraged to carry a copy whilst on duty.
Personnel are reminded of the vision of the Service – “To be a world–class Police Service capable of delivering planned, democratic, protective and peaceful services up to standards of international best practice” and encouraged to strive at all times to uphold the law in a courteous, fair, firm and impartial manner in order to win public confidence.
The handbook is not intended to replace or supersede any Rules and Regulations of the Ghana Police Service, Service Instructions (SI) or other laws of Ghana.
Throughout this book any reference to a male is also a reference to a female.
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0.PROTECTION OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF PERSONS
0.1POLICING IN A DEMOCRACY, ETHICAL AND LEGAL CONDUCT(From Code of Conduct/Ethics for the Ghana Police Service)
Police officers shall at all times act impartially and in accordance with existing laws, which must be enforced on all persons without discrimination.
Police officers shall respect and protect human dignity, maintain and uphold rights of all persons.
Police officers shall perform their duties without partiality and discrimination to all persons.
Police officers shall treat all suspects as innocent persons, politely, respectfully and professionally
Police officers shall respect and uphold the rule of law.
Police officers shall ensure that they treat all persons in a courteous manner and that their conduct is exemplary and consistent with the demands of the profession and the public they serve.
1.GENERAL ASPECTS ON POLICE ROLE IN PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATIONS
1.1THE POLICE DUTY
1.1.1NECESSARY STEPS TO TAKE WHEN CRIMES ARE COMMITTED
If there are grounds to suspect that a crime has been committed, the police must take steps necessary:
To identify and arrest the perpetrator(s) of the crime;
To prevent the perpetrator or accomplice from absconding;
To detect and secure the clues to the crime and articles which might serve as evidence;
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To gather all information that might be of use for the effective conduct of investigations and prosecution.
In order to perform the tasks referred to above (1.1.1), the police
May take the necessary information from persons;
May make necessary examination of vehicles, passengers and luggage;
May restrict movement in the specified area for the time this action is urgently necessary;
May take the necessary steps to establish the identity of persons and objects;
May organize a search to locate an individual or things being sought;
May make a search in the presence of a responsible individual of premises according to law;
Take other necessary steps and actions necessary to assist investigations.
1.2THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT
In gathering information, the police must inform the suspect that he is not obliged to give any statement or reply to any kind or questions asked except questions regarding his identity and address.
2.ARREST–Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30, Act 653)
2.1GENERAL –Service Instruction Number 166
A.It is the duty of all members of the Service to make themselves thoroughly familiar with their powers of arrest.
Normally, no arrest shall be made unless;
(a)The arrest is necessary to prevent a breach of the peace.
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(b)There is reason to believe the suspect may abscond or may be difficult to trace.
(c)There is reason to believe that a further offence may be committed if the suspect is not arrested.
(d)The arrest is necessary for the immediate investigation of the alleged offence.
B.Premature arrest shall be avoided. Hasty arrests frequently hamper the investigation and ruin what might otherwise be a successful case. Further, it may cause embarrassment to the Police Command.
C.All officers of the Service should make themselves acquainted with the Judge’s Rules so that they may realize the effect a premature arrest may have on the investigation of cases.
2.2RIGHTS OF ARRESTED PERSON(S)
1)The right to be told in a language he understands, the offence committed leading to arrest.
2)The right to be told reason for restrain or detention
3)The right to be informed to remain silent
4)The right to be informed to consult a lawyer of his own choice
5)The right to be taken to a Police Station or any legitimate detention centre.
6)The right to be allowed to inform near relative of his arrest and location of his detention.
7)The right to be given an interpreter who can speak his language to facilitate process of enquiry.
8)The right to bail after 48 hours by Police or to be brought before a magistrate either for court bail or remand into Police or Prison custody.
9)The right not to be tortured coerced or humiliated
10)The right to be presumed innocent until found guilty.
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2.3MODE OF ARREST, Section 3
In making an arrest, the Police Officer shall actually touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested, unless there is submission to the custody verbally or by conduct.
2.4NOTIFICATION OF REASON FOR ARREST-Article 14 (2), 1992 Constitution
A Police Officer shall immediately inform the person arrested in a language that he understands of the reason for his arrest and his right to a lawyer of his choice.
2.5ARRESTS WITHOUT A WARRANT, Section 10
A Police Officer may arrest without a warrant any person who;
Commits an offence in his presence
Obstruct him in the execution of his duty
Escapes or attempt to escape from lawful custody
In possession of implements adopted or intended for use to unlawfully enter a building and fails to give reasonable excuse for the possession of the implement.
In possession of a thing reasonably suspected to have been stolen
Or whom the Police Officer reasonably suspects to have committed or about to commit an offence.
2.6SEARCH OF ARRESTED PERSON, Section 8
A Police Officer shall search an arrested person and place in safe custody the articles other than necessary wearing apparel found on him.
The search shall be made with strict decency and where a woman is to be searched, the search shall be made by a woman.
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2.7ARRESTED PERSON TO BE TAKEN TO POLICE STATION, Section 9
A Police Officer making an arrest outside a Police Station shall immediately take the arrested person to the Police Station.
2.8AN ARRESTED PERSON IN POLICE CUSTODY
A Police Officer shall ensure the arrested person while in custody is given reasonable facility for obtaining legal advice, taking steps to furnish bail where appropriate.
A Police Officer shall not torture or subject an arrested person or a detained person to any form of cruel or degrading treatment.
A Police Officer shall ensure that convicted persons are detained separately from un-convicted persons
A Police Officer shall ensure that juvenile offenders in lawful custody are kept separately from adult offenders
A Police Officer shall ensure that an arrested, restricted or detained person is brought before court within 48 hours after the arrest, restriction or detention.
2.9ARREST OF PERSONS EMPLOYED ON EMERGENCY SERVICES –ServiceInstruction Number 166
A Person engaged on emergency service in connection with;
(a)Electrical Power Stations
(d)Recognised Health Institutions
shall NOT be arrested until the local head of department has been informed and has arranged for him to be relieved. However, such person shall be kept
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under surveillance by the Police Officer intending to effect the arrest to prevent escape.
2.10ARREST OF MEMBERS OF EMBASSIES, HIGH COMMISSIONS AND OTHER DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS-Service Instruction Number 166 Members of Embassies and High Commissioner’s offices shall only be arrested if it is absolutely necessary to protect life or property or to prevent a breach of the peace.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister should be immediately informed. The Ambassador and other officials of the missions have some immunity and should not be subjected to arrest –Geneva Convention.
2.11ARREST OF NON-GHANAIANS –Service Instruction Number 166
Should a Non-Ghanaian whose country is represented by an Embassy or High Commission be arrested on a criminal charge, detained at a Police Station on suspicion, or proceeded against by means of a criminal summons, the facts shall be reported immediately to the District Commander who shall inform the Director-General/CID immediately by wireless message or by telephone if necessary, stating the brief facts of the case, and reporting to the Regional Commander that he has done so.
2.12ARREST OF MEMBERS OF GHANA ARMED FORCES AND OTHER SECURITY SERVICES –Service Instruction Number 167
(The expression “Ghana Armed Forces” includes the Ghana Navy, Army and Air Force)
Station Officers shall report to the District Commander, every case in which a member of the Ghana Armed Forces or other Security Service is detained, arrested or is summoned before a Court for any offence.
The District Commander shall immediately inform the Officer Commanding the arrested officer’s unit.
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3.USE OF FORCE – Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act 1960 (Act 30, Act 653)
Police Officers shall use force when necessary in the execution of their legitimate duties.
Police Officers shall not use force more than is necessarily required to achieve the object of law enforcement.
Police Officers shall only use force that is reasonable, necessary and proportional to the resistance level of the offender.
3.2JUSTIFICATION FOR USE OF FORCE
Police Officers shall use force;
(a)To defend themselves and others against imminent threat of death or serious injury.
(b)To prevent the commission of a serious crime.
(c)Against a person who resists arrest, fights, escapes or endeavors to escape from lawful custody.
3.3.1Resistance, for the purpose of this policy, is considered as any type of rejection of a legal order from a Police Officer, issued to establish public peace and order, leaving the scene of an accident, temporary limitation of movement, apprehending, detaining or depriving of freedom
a)Active resistance occurs when an individual resists by using a weapon, tools or other objects, or physical force, and in this way prevents Police
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Officers from performing their official duties. Inciting others to resist is also considered active resistance.
b)Passive resistance is determined when an individual disregards a legal order from a Police Officer, or places himself in a position that prevents the officer from performing his duty.
3.3.2Control is the verbal or physical actions of the Police Officer to direct or regulate the actions of another person.
3.3.3Attack is any direct attack;
a)That jeopardizes the life of a Police Officer;
b)On an individual or a building which is protected;
c)On individuals which is conducted with firearms, dangerous tools or other objects which can endanger lives;
d)By two or more individuals when help cannot be expected;
e)An attack from a more physically built individual trained in martial arts.
4.DEESCALATION AND JUSTIFIABLE FORCE
4.1.1.THE DUTY TO DE-ESCALATE A TENSE SITUATION
Police Officers are required by duty to attempt to de-escalate a tense situation whenever tactically possible.
4.1.2THE POLICE OFFICERS RESPONSIBILITY
Should a Police Officer because of anger, arrogance, personal involvement, prejudice, hatred or fear allow himself to escalate a situation to a higher degree of violence than otherwise necessary, then the officer shares responsibility for the consequences.
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4.2.1THE PRINCIPLE OF PROPORTIONALITY
Police Officers may use measures that are proportional
To the subject’s level of resistance;
To the seriousness of the offence;
To the officers need to control the resistance.
4.2.2THREAT TO THE POLICE OFFICER
International standards recognize the vital role Police Officers play in the protection of the right to life, liberty and the safety for all persons. The threat to the life and safety of Police Officers must be seen as a threat to the stability of society as a whole, and officers will use appropriate force to overcome such threats.
The Police Officer’s escalation of force will be proportional to the subject’s escalation of resistance and/or violent actions toward the officer.
4.2.3REQUIREMENTS TO BE MET WHEN JUSTIFIABLE FORCE IS USED Police officers will ensure that the following requirements are met when justifiable force is used:
The force will be in proportion to the seriousness of the offence and the legitimate objective to be achieved;
The force will be minimized to preserve human life;
Medical aid will be rendered to any injured or affected person (s) in need of assistance as soon as possible;
Relatives or close friends of the injured or affected person will be notified.
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5.SEARCH OF DWELLINGS, OTHER PREMISES AND PERSONS–
Criminal and Other Offences (procedure) Act 1960 (Act 30, Act 653)
5.1SEARCHES WITHOUT A WARRANT, Section 93, 94
A Police Officer may search without warrant if he has reasonable cause to believe that a person has concealed on himself or conveying;
an article which has been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
an article in respect of which a criminal offence has been, is being or is about to be committed.
A Police Officer not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police or who being below the rank has been authorized in writing by an officer of the said rank may enter a house, shop, warehouse, yard, boat, vessel or other premises which the Police Officer has reasonable cause to believe contains property which has been stolen or obtained by unlawful means.
5.2SEARCHES WITH A WARRANT, Section 88 (1)
Where a Police Officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that there is in a building, vessel or any other premises;
a thing in respect of which an offence has been committed.
a thing which is intended to be used for the purpose of committing an offence.
a thing which has been unlawfully obtained.
a thing of which possession is unlawful;
shall by evidence on oath, apply to a District Magistrate for a search warrant to be issued for the conduct of a search.
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5.3DETENTION OF ARTICLES SEIZED, Section 91 (1)
A Police Officer shall bring before the Magistrate all articles seized under a search warrant.
The Magistrate may detain or cause it to be detained, taking reasonable care that it is preserved until the conclusion of the case.
5.4HOW TO CONDUCT A SEARCH
5.4.1MAIN RULE, SEARCH IN DAYTIME, AND EXCEPTIONS, Section 89
A search shall be done in daytime (6.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m.) but can also be done at any other time if authorized by a Court.
5.4.2SUMMONING TO ATTEND THE SEARCH
The tenant, his representative or another adult tenant of neighbours shall be summoned to attend the search.
5.4.3USE OF FORCE IF LOCKED
Locked premises, pieces of furniture or other articles shall be forced open only if the person in possession of them is not present or refuses to open them voluntarily. In opening them unnecessary damage shall be avoided.
5.4.4PERMISSION TO SEARCH OR INSPECT IN A MILITARY BUILDING
A search or inspection in a military building shall be done with permission of the competent military officer.
5.4.5SEARCHING WITH CARE
The search of a dwelling or person should be done with care so as not to upset the order of the household.
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5.4.6SEARCH SHOULD NOT BE DONE IN THE PRESENCE OF COMPLAINANT
Under no circumstance should searches be conducted in the company or presence of the complainant (s).
5.4.7ARREST/SEARCH SHOULD BE WITH THE COOPERATION OF LOCAL POLICE
As a general rule all arrests and search should be conducted with the co-operation of the local Police whose jurisdiction the arrest/search is going to be conducted.
6.BREACH OF DISCIPLINE–Service Instruction Number 48
6.1In accordance with the provisions of the Police Service Act (Act 350) the following constitute breaches of discipline for which Police Officers may be liable and for which punishment may be imposed in accordance with the provisions of the said Regulation: –
1)Disobedience of a lawful order given him by his senior in rank, whether verbally or in writing, or by authorized signal on parade.
2)Any oppressive or tyrannical conduct towards a junior in rank.
3)Failing to attend to any reasonable request made to him by any member of the public.
4)Lack of civility to any member of the public.
5)Neglect of duty.
6)Neglecting to assist any person injured or taken ill in any public place.
7)Withholding or failing to report promptly any complaint against a Police Officer.
8)Communicating to any unauthorized person matters connected with the Service without permission from the Senior Police Officer under whom he serves.
9)Accepting directly or indirectly any gratuity, present, subscription or testimonial without the knowledge and permission of the Senior Police Officer under whom he is serving.
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10)Incurring debt without any reasonable prospect, or intention of paying it, or having incurred any debt, making no reasonable effort to pay it.
11)Divulging any matter or thing, which it is his duty to keep secret.
12)Absence from duty without good cause.
13)Conduct, disorder or neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline.
15)Disrespect in word, act or demeanour to his senior in rank.
16)The use of abusive or insulting language to, or quarrelling with any member of the Service.
17)Forcing a sentry; where there is a sentry guard and you are to stop but fail to do so.
18)The pawn, sale, loss by neglect, wilful or negligent damage or failure to report any damage to any of the articles of clothing, arms, accoutrements, or accessories issued to him, or any Government property committed to his charge.
19)Being inattentive on parade, or talking, singing or otherwise misbehaving himself on parade.
20)Being late for duty or parade.
21)Parading for duty, dirty or untidy in his person, arms, clothing, or accoutrement.
23)Drinking any intoxicating liquor when on duty.
24)Entering any place licensed for the sale of spirituous liquor when on duty, except when his presence is required in the execution of his duty.
25)Endeavouring at any time to conceal or disguise his Service number, name & rank (identity).
26)Smoking when on duty;
27)Failing to walk his beat properly or irregularity on beat or sentry.
28)Idling, gossiping, sitting, lying down without cause or sleeping when on duty.
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29)Leaving his beat, point, or other place to which he has been ordered without permission or without sufficient and proper reason.
30)Using unnecessary violence to, or ill-using any person in his custody.
31)Negligently permitting a prisoner to escape.
32)Failing to report the whereabouts of an offender or helping the offender to escape justice when he knows where such a person is to be found.
33)Omitting to make any necessary entry in any official document, book or paper.
34)Making or signing any false statement in any official record or document.
35)Prevarication before any court or at any inquiry.
36)Neglecting or refusing to assist in the apprehension of any member of the Service charged with any offence.
37)Protecting any person in any manner otherwise than is allowed by law.
38)Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA)
39)Making or joining in making any anonymous complaint.
40)Conveying information directly or indirectly to any person of any warrant or summons, which has been issued or is about to be issued against such person.
41)Malingering or feigning sickness without due cause
42)Concealing any contagious disease, or neglecting or failing to report the fact if he is suffering.
43)Gambling or permitting or failing to report gambling in Police Stations or Barracks;
44)Failure to comply with or disobedience of any regulation made under the Police Service Act, or any Service Instruction made by theInspector-General of Police.
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7.DUTIES AT THE CHARGE OFFICE
7.1OFFICER IN-CHARGE OF THE CHARGE OFFICE-Service Instruction Number 37
7.1.1The Officer in-charge of a charge office (Non-Commissioned Officer-NCO)shall supervise duties at the Charge office and shall be responsible for the following duties: –
Informing the Station Officer immediately a report of crime, accident or unusual occurrence is received.
The safe custody of all articles on charge in the charge office and of any prisoner or detained person.
The correct receipt and recording of all official telephone or other message received whilst he is on duty in the absence of a wireless operator.
Shall maintain any other books or station records as may be directed by the Station Officer and as his essential duties permit and also see to it that correct entries are made in the relevant books.
Where there is no CID, he shall take charge of the investigation of minor cases while on duty and refer serious cases to his station Officer.
Ensures diligent recording of movement of all arms and ammunition from the armoury or being placed in the armoury.
7.2STATION ORDERLY-Service Instruction Number 38
7.2.1The Station Orderly shall be responsible for making entries in the station diary and other record books that may be assigned. In the absence of an NCO in-charge of a charge office, he shall perform the duties of the Charge office NCO as stipulated in S.I 37.
7.2.2The Station Orderly shall be responsible for the following duties:
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The making of all necessary entries in the station diary for the period during which he is on duty
The making of entries in the Register of Offence, unless the Station Commander details another member of the Service to do so
The correct receipt and recording of all official telephone or other message received whilst he is on duty
He shall take charge of the keys to the showcase in the charge office
and make entries whenever any key or article is collected from his custody.
8.PROCEDURE FOR MAKING COMPLAINTS BY MEMBERS OF THE SERVICE-Service Instruction Number 59
8.1.1A Constable who has any complaint to make shall address himself to his NCO. If the NCO cannot deal with the case he shall take the Constable before an Inspector or Station Officer. Should the Inspector or Station Officer be unable to dispose of the complaint he shall refer it to the District/Divisional/Regional Commander. Where the Constable is aggrieved at or dissatisfied with the decision of either the NCO or the Inspector he may request to be taken before his Senior Officer.
8.1.2Should a Constable desire a meeting with his Senior Officer, he shall address such request through his NCO to the Station Officer who on ascertaining the reason for the meeting, shall arrange for the Constable to appear before the Senior Officer. Where the reasons for the meeting are personal or confidential, it shall not be necessary for the Constable to disclose them to the NCO or Station Officer. Every such request must be granted.
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8.1.3Where a Constable is aggrieved or dissatisfied with the decision of his Senior Officer concerning a complaint made by him, he shall be at liberty to address his complaint in writing to his Divisional or Regional Commander through the District Commander and if aggrieved at or dissatisfied with the decision of the Divisional or Regional Commander, he may petition the IGP, the petition being forwarded through the usual channels.
8.1.4Every Senior Officer is bound to forward to the Divisional/Regional Commander concerned or to the IGP as the case may be, every complaint so made. Any complaint couched in improper language may be referred back to the constable for amendment before being forwarded.
8.1.5Every Member has the right to be taken before any Senior Officer who is visiting or inspecting his station so that he may make the complaint verbally instead of in writing. All such complaints, shall however, be previously referred to the Station Officer.
8.2.1An NCO who has a complaint to make shall address himself to the Senior NCO at his station and an NCO in charge of a station shall address his complaint to the Inspector in charge of the District Station if any, or direct to the District Commander. The complaint shall then be dealt with in exactly the same manner, as that of a Constable.
8.3.1An Inspector, who has a complaint to make shall address himself to his next Senior Officer and if he has no immediate Senior of the rank of Chief Inspector, then direct to the District Commander, who shall deal with the complaint in the same manner, as that of a Constable.