IGP Cuts Sod For PIPS Hqtrs

The Inspector General Of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan yesterday cut the sod for the construction of a permanent office accommodation for the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards unit (PIPS) headquarters within the Nima Divisional Command yard in Accra with a reiteration that his administration will not relent in its efforts to maintain professional standards in law enforcement.

The IGP therefore called on ‘our partners and the general public to assist the Service at all times in this direction’ adding that the law enforcement agency will team up with the public to ensure police accountability and effectiveness.

While explaining the importance of PIPS in ensuring the maintenance of professional standards, he said there is no clash between it and the proposed Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

‘In spite of the envisaged IPCC, the Police will still need PIPS for its internal disciplinary mechanism’ he said, explaining that in countries where the commission is operative, it exists side by side with an internal police complaint unit, conduct and discipline unit or professional standards unit.

As a police watchdog, the IPCC handles complaints made against the Police when integrity of the police is in doubt, he said, adding that the unit deals with more serious cases such as death in custody, shootings and other matters of public concern.

‘The commission does not oust the powers of the law enforcement institution because its functions were clearly cut,’ he explained.

A permanent office accommodation for PIPS, he said, would ensure an increase in the number of personnel it needs to function effectively and have all the complements of a directorate which is what PIPS. The location, Nima, he said, was to ensure ease of accessibility for complainants and for it to operate in a non-intimidating environment.

The Director-General of PIPS, COP Joana Osei-Poku who initiated the construction of the project received accolades from the IGP who asked that those in leadership should emulate her.

She lamented the constraints suffered by PIPS such as the inadequacy of office accommodation. The challenges notwithstanding, she disclosed that ‘in 2013 and 2014, a total of 788 and 1092 cases respectively were received from the public.’

The dominant cases, she said, was unprofessional handling of cases, unfair treatment and undue delay of investigation. ‘This increase of 66%, I believe, was primarily as a result of growing public awareness and confidence in PIPS’ she said.

It is envisaged, she said, the project would be completed within the next few years and in addition disclosed that PIPS would have offices in all the eleven police regions across the country. ‘This will make PIPS more accessible to the public, and reduce the inconvenience of travelling long distances to file complaints’ she said.

The PIPS is housed in an old Asylum Down bungalow in Accra. Various organizations such as Tobinco, National Insurance Commission, Commercial Quarries, Nexans Kabelmetal Ltd and many others have contributed towards the project.

The IGP was joined at the ceremony by top Police officers such as COP Rose Bio-Atenga, COP Kudalor, the Greater Accra Regional Commander, Christian Yohunu and his deputy ACP Yoosa Bonga among others.

By A.R. Gomda

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