COP Ken Yeboah slams police officers who expose juvenile offenders

By Lorlornyofm December 21, 2017 21:11

COP Ken Yeboah slams police officers who expose juvenile offenders

The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, COP Ken Yeboah, has criticized Police personnel for not doing enough to protect the identities of juvenile suspects in crimes.

He said the police were even complicit in leaking out the images and identities of these juvenile suspects.

COP Yeboah’s comments come after the leaked photos of three teenagers alleged to be involved in a sexual assault case at Bantama in the Ashanti Regional capital, started making the rounds on social media.

Although the Police have remain tight-lipped on the ages of the offenders, it’s been confirmed they are teenagers, as they are being tried by a Juvenile Court.

The Police have also confirmed that, one of them is in Junior High School, whereas the two others are in Senior High School.

Speaking at the opening of the Ghana Police Transformation Agenda which focuses on best practices, COP Yeboah condemned the acts, and admonished personnel to be more protective of juvenile suspects.

“The law says that you should not mention the names of juvenile suspects in your custody. You don’t have to expose even their pictures. But you exposed them and share that information with people. Is that one of the best practices,” the police commander questioned.

What the law says

The Juvenile Justice Act is clear that a juvenile has the right to privacy during the arrest, the investigation of an offence, at the trial of the offence, and at any other stage of the cause or matter.

“A person shall not in the course of arrest, investigation or trial of an offence connected with a juvenile, or at any other stage of the cause or matter, release any information for publication that may lead to the identification of the juvenile. Any person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both,” section 3 of the Act adds.

A better Police Service

COP Yeboah stressed on the need for improvement in the way the police handled suspects generally and interact with the public.

He lamented that “the reputation and the respect that people have for us is going down. It is up to us to find out why” he said.

As an example of the failings of the police, COP Yeboah noted that “we arrest suspects. The law says you do not have to detain the person for more than 48 hours, but you detain the person for 72 hours or even more. Is that one of the best practices we are talking about?”

He, however, expressed hope that with the adherence to the Ghana Police Transformation Agenda, “everybody will be a leader who would change the police service, and I am sure that a the end of the day, everybody will be a new person and it is going to drive the vehicle behind us so we get to our destination.”

There have been concerns about how the police are eager to sometimes parade or expose crime suspects to the public even before they are declared guilty.

By: Lauretta Timah & Delali Adogla-Bessa/

By Lorlornyofm December 21, 2017 21:11
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