Background to the study
In fact, there are divergence history surrounding of how
police came to be and its role in the maintenance of rule of law.
According to Encarta
dictionary, Police is a civil organization whose members are given special
legal powers by the government and whose task is to maintain public order and
to solve and prevent crimes.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org.>wiki>police.18,12,2017. A police is a
constituted body of persons empowered by a state to enforce the law, protect
property, and limit civil order. Their powers include the legitimized use of
force. The term is most commonly associated with police services of a sovereign
state that are authorized to exercise the police power of the state within a
define legal or territorial area of responsibility.
The word ‘police’ is derived
from the Latin (Roman) word ‘politia’—referring
to civil administration—which
developed from the ancient Greek words ‘polis’,
‘city’, and ‘politeia’, or ‘city-state’ (Watson, 2006, p. 130).
The idea of policing requires a holistic approach to
community service, taking into account the problems that plague a community and
working with the people within that community to solve them.( Timothy Roufa, Febuarary 2017).
According Reith. The social evolution of human
beings has included a wide variety of types of
control mechanisms. ‘Policing’,
in the broad sense, is often defined in terms
of the management of behaviour
through laws, surveillance, threats, physical
compensation, and sanctions—including fines, confinement,
corporal and capital punishment (Reith, 1975).
Professional policing was introduced in Ghana by the British
colonial authorities in 1831. The colonial administrator at the time, Captain
George Maclean, Governor of the Gold Coast, recruited 129 men to patrol the
trade routes between Ashanti Kingdom and the coast to protect colonial
merchants and officials around the castle.
In 1871 when the British assumed full sovereignty over the
Gold Coast, the 90 men in the police was reinforced with a further 400 men.
The Ghana Police Service has, since its inception been in the frontline
of the criminal justice system of Ghana. It is clearly, the most visible arm of
government as the symbol of law and order, to the people. Ghana Police Service
is mandated by Article 200 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana,
and the Police Service Act 1970 (ACT 350).
The Ghana Police
Service (GPS) is the main law
enforcement agency of Ghana. The service is
under the control of the Ghanaian Ministry
of the Interior, and employs over 30,000 officers across its 651
The Ghana Police Service operates in twelve divisions: ten
covering the ten regions of Ghana, one assigned specifically to the seaport and
industrial hub of Tema,
and the twelfth being the Railways, Ports and Harbors Division. An
additional division, the Marine Police Unit, exists to handle issues
that arise from the country’s offshore industry.
From about 1920 through the 1940s, there was no officially
organized or structured response to small or large gatherings and mobs.
Standard procedure was a riot line, which was 10 to 20 officers holding batons,
axe handles, baseball bats, sticks, or clubs, usually with no other protection.
There were usually three to four lines of officers, spaced 20 to 30 feet behind
the other. The goal was to push back the crowd of people and/or disperse them.
This usually ended up in a free-for-all after the line came into contact with
the crowd. The goal of the riot line was to isolate, contain, or overpower the
crowd by force. Officer injuries often occurred.
However, when chemicals were used during a response, many
officers were not trained or prepared to operate in a vision-impaired and/or
oxygen-depleted environment, or even in how to operate in a protective mask.
Officers were trained in control methods, but they were not tactically
proficient in these techniques. The gear available to officers did not protect
them from common injuries and was generally bulky, so it greatly restricted the
officers’ movements and was rarely used.
Crowd control refers to measures used by police, military, or
other security forces to control, disperse, and arrest people who are involved
in a riot, demonstration, or protest (Riot control Wikipedia).
The first squad trained in modern techniques of riot control
was formed in 1925 in colonial Shanghai as a response to the mismanaged riot of
the May Thirtieth Movement. New policing methods, including combat pistol
shooting, hand to hand combat skills, and knife fight training, were pioneered
by British Assistant Commissioner William E. Fairbairn and Officer Eric Anthony
Sykes of the Shanghai Municipal Police as a response to a staggering rise in
armed crime in the 1920s Wikipedia.org/wiki/riot-control.
Crowd control equipment is an effective logistical tool used
for crowd control and other operations relevant to the Ghana Police Service,
both from the perspective of the police service and the citizen at the right
time and at the right place.
Since logistics serves as a key to success in every policing activities
One may ask what logistics is.
Logistics is the overall management of the way resources are
obtained, stored and moved to the locations where they are required.
https:www.investopedia.com>terms. 20 December 2017.
To ensure the rule of law in a political and sovereign nation
one cannot do without law enforcement agencies particularly the civilian
Given several incidences of police clashes with protesters
(Sebokeng, 1990 & Daveyton, 1991), the ANC led government after 1994 noted
that the South African Police required transformation from the repressive style
of policing to a police service for the people. This brought a challenge of
introducing a policy framework in the approach to policing of public protests
and riots and clear guidelines for the use of force by SAPS. (Minister of Police, 29 August 2011).
In Senegal police normally wear full riot control equipment
and employ methods similar to that of their colonial master’s approach. It
makes use of shields and batons. In order to disperse violent crowds and
demonstrators, tear gas and water cannons are utilized. The country subscribes
to the use of force (lethal) and uses firearms but only where situations
On 28 February 1948 in Accra (capital of
present-day Ghana, which at the
time was the British colony of the Gold
Coast), after a protest march by unarmed ex-servicemen was broken
up by police, leaving several leaders of the group dead. Among those killed was
Sergeant Nii Adjetey, who has since been
memorialized in Accra.
The ex-servicemen were veterans of World War II, members of the Gold Coast Regiment, who were among
the most decorated African soldiers, fighting alongside British troops in Burma.
Following the riots of 1948 led by the Big Six, the special
branch and the police reserves unit was formed for riot control and prevent
destabilization of the government. The reserves unit was known to deal harshly
with street demonstrators and protestors. Wikipedia.
The immediate aftermath of the riots included the arrest on
12 March 1948 of “the Big Six” – Kwame Nkrumah and other
leading activists in the UGCC party (namely Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, J. B. Danquah, Emmanuel
Obetsebi-Lamptey, and William Ofori Atta), who were held
responsible for orchestrating the disturbances and were detained, being released
a month later.
The Ghana police service are guided by the police act (1970)
and makes provision for the use of lethal force in controlling riots. In
practice, the police have been severely condemned since most of the peaceful
demonstrations turns to violent riot and accompanied by coupled of incidents of
fatalities and deaths.
In most situations
warning shots with live ammunitions fired by the police to drive away
rioters/crowd have resulted in the deaths of rioters and also caught up with
innocents’ citizens who are not even in involve with the act, the Ghana police
seems to prefer using live ammunitions as their number one priority in
dispersing crowd, which in most of the cases result in deaths and injuries.
Article 12 (2) the
1992 constitution provides: “Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of
origin, political opinion, color, religion, creed or gender shall be
entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual
contained in this Chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of
others and for the public interest.”
The United Nations and the Universal Declaration of human
rights, adopted by the general assembly in 1945 and 1948 respectively which
Ghana is signatory state “Human rights are rights to all human beings,
regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any
status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from
slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and
education, and many more.” The United States of America (USA) also provides
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and
to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (UCSB Police
Department Policy & Guidelines).
According to paragraph (a), (c), and (d) of (1) of Article 21
of the 1992 constitution emphasized that:
v Freedom of speech
and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media.
v Freedom to
practise any religion and to manifest such practice
v Freedom of
assembly including freedom to take part in processions and
According to UCSB police department policy guidelines. A fundamental role
of law enforcement is the protection of the rights all people have to
peacefully assemble, demonstrate, protest, or rally. In turn, law enforcement
also has the responsibility to ensure public safety and to protect the lives
and property of all people.
The Bill of Rights in the Constitution provides that “everyone has the right, peacefully and
unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions”.
SAPS (Minister of Police, 29 August
According to the Ghana Police
Service Standard Operating Procedure SOP.
Police officers shall respect and protect human dignity, maintain and
uphold rights of all persons.
As a result of this situation the Ghana Police are now
reviewing their approach to policing of crowd control situations.
In Ghana a proactive approach to dealing with crowd control
is the responsibility of the Police Service to be seen to act professionally
but not to incite the crowd to riot when there is no need for that.
The Ghanaian citizens
has become more sophisticated and conservative and for that matter.
A Successful riot crowd control will provide a peaceful and
enabling environment for the citizenry.
This case study provides an opportunity for the researcher to
analyze riot crowd control measures in the Ghana Police Service whether systems
and structures are in place and supported by the appropriate logistics with
views within the Ghana police service and perceptions from the general public.
of the Knowledge gap
Research on logistics in the security agencies have
kept on coming on the radial of researches internationally but not much has
been done in the field of logistics support for crowd control which falls under
the domain of the Ghana Police Service under our fourth Republican
constitution. Is possible researchers have considered crowd control logistics
to be the same as logistic deployment for general police duties hence the gap
in knowledge on the area. Though literature abounds in the developed world, due
to how crowd control ensures one of the basic tenets of democracy which is
freedom of association linked to ability of citizens to demonstrate and voice
out their concerns.
It is in the light of this gap that the study comes in
handy to answer questions and provide information to shape policy direction of
the Ghana Police Service and the Government in resources our security agencies
for an effective work.
Effective crowd control in the police service is not an easy
task especially where personnel of the police service have to rely on the
limited and old crowd control equipment for the maintenance of law and order
and managing crowd since the inception of the fourth republic.
Approach and strategies related to riot control in Ghana are
not much different from other countries in the modern world however; the Ghana
Police Service lacks the state of the art equipment as per the international
standard. Although the primary objective of Ghana Police Service is to maintain
law and order, and therefore there is the need for appropriate logistics tools
(crowd control equipment) used to managed or combat rioters. In recent times
the Ghanaian society has unanimously accepted the lack of crowd control
equipment as one of the key constrains to provision of essential crowd control
intervention. However, these constrains have not been met due to lack of
resources from the national budget to support the service due to competing
demands as explained by both past and present governments. Such constraints
have filtered in the ability of the police to manage crowd and led to clashes
between the police and demonstrators under the fourth republican constitution
including the resent clash between the Alliance for Accountable Governance
(AFAG) and the police. This project therefore seeks to examine constrains
hindering effective crowd control by the Ghana police service.
Objectives and Limitations
The general objective of the study seeks to capture logistics
constrains in Ghana Police Service and their effects on effective crowd
The specific objectives of this study are as follows:
To identify the logistics needs of the Ghana Police Service
Identify Major logistical changes that have occurred since
the inception of the fourth republic.
Analyze procedures involve in the procuring/usage of crowd
Make recommendations if any for effective implementation of
the use of the state of the art crowd control equipment.
The research will seek to
respond to the resulting questions:
1. What are the logistic
needs of the Ghana Police Service?
2. How are sourcing
decisions made by the Ghana Police Service?
3. What measures must be
adopted to improve logistics support for operations by the Ghana Police
4. The perception of the
general public in relation to how the police handle crowd/rioters.
The study will be confined
to Ghana Police Regional Head Quarters in Accra and Akim Oda Divisional Police
Service. It would have been ideal for the study of this nature to sample from
all the different regions in the country, however, time to complete the study
and financial constraints would not permit the researcher undertake this
Type and Design
type of research method that was used for this study is Triangulation method.
Due to the nature of research, the study employs a descriptive research design.
An enlightening research design is one used to get data in regards to the
present status of a situation and to depict “what exists” as for
factors or conditions in a circumstance. Where the study will combine both
qualitative and quantitative method. Research design provides the glue that
holds the research project together. A design is used to structure the
research, to show how all of the major parts of the research project work
together to try to address the central research questions (Trochim, 2006). This
research will use the Case study design to address the research objectives.
Population of the study
to Agyedu, Donkor & Obeng (2007), population refers to the complete set of
individuals (subjects), objects or events having common observable
characteristics in which the researcher is interested in studying.
The targeted population for this study is mostly the
officers of Ghana Police Service at Logistics and Procurement Directorate
including Senior Officers who can speak to the issues
population may be all the individuals of a particular group or a more
restricted part of the group. This group becomes the target group. The
populations of interest for this study are officers of the Ghana Polices
Service within the Greater Accra Regional Headquarters and Akim Oda Divisional
Police Command numbering 500 a well a section of the general public in Accra
and Akim Oda for their perception on crowd control to complement the issues
within the service.
Sampling is the process of selecting units (e.g.,
people, organizations) from a population of interest so that by studying the
sample we may fairly generalize our results back to the population from which
they were chosen (Trochim, 2006). The study makes use of convenience sampling.
Convenience sampling is where elements are selected for the sample, for the
comfort of the respondents. The researcher pick respondents that are promptly
accessible, adjacent and additionally eager to take an interest. This testing
technique was chosen because in the view of the researcher it is the most
convenient. Due to the difficulty nature of getting information on sourcing
logistics, the study sampled 50 Police Officers of the Greater Accra Regional
Police Command and Akim Oda Divisional police officers for effects on effective
crowd control and another 50 civilians from the public who gave their perception about the police
logistical readiness for crowd control.
main instrument used to gather data was structured questionnaire. This is
because it is quick and effective if properly structured and also has a high
degree of transparency and accountability. The research objectives formed the
basis for the questionnaire items and analytical tool. Kerlinger (1973) posited
that questionnaire is very effective for securing factual information about
practices and conditions, and for inquiring into opinion and attitude of the
primary and secondary data was used for this study. The researcher gathered
primary data from interviews and questionnaires to administered to police
senior officers and junior officers. Secondary data was gathered from
libraries, Internet and from both published and unpublished materials.
research is qualitative and quantitative; therefore, the researcher used
descriptive statistics in analyzing the data. The data collected was edited for
consistency and then frequencies and percentages worked out to show the
responses of the distribution. The responses were analyzed using Statistical
Package of Social Science (SPSS). The variables were coded and with the aid of
the SPSS, frequency counts and tables made for groups of opinions from the
responses. Percentages was calculated for the responses that was made by
respondents could be obtained.
contributions of the study
This study is of immense significance, as it will bring to
fore the importance of crowd control in a dynamic and organize security
personnel within a robust security system such as the Ghana Police Service. In
addition, the results that have been obtained will assist the Inspector-General
of police IGP and his able commanders to undertake an effective implementation
of procuring the appropriate riot crowd control equipment at the Ghana Police
Service. The result will serve as a framework for future students to undertake
further research on effects on effective crowd control in other police divisional