The Ministry of the Interior exists to ensure the maintenance of Internal Security and Peaceful Development within the Law, in Ghana. We do this by reviewing, formulating, implementing and evaluating policies relating to the protection of life and property; preventing and mitigating effects of disasters; immigration control; prevention and detection of crime; ensuring safe custody and facilitating the reformation and rehabilitation of offenders by employing and establishing good public relations with them; being guided by our belief in integrity, transparency, efficiency and prompt responsiveness to our clients. The latter comprises all person in Ghana and especially the vulnerable in society.
Ministry : The Interior
Minister : Kwesi Ahwoi
Postal Address : P.O. Box M42 Accra
Telephone : (+233-302) 662688/664408
Fax : (+233-302) 667450
* To ensure adequate protection of life and property
* To ensure efficient crime detection and prevention
* To strengthen disaster prevention and response mechanism and social mobiliSation
* To regulate and monitor the entry, stay and exit of non-Ghanaians and traveling public.
* To develop highly efficient and humane custodial reformatory system
* To improve institutional capacity to enhance service system
* To develop a good public relations system
ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2005
Maintenance Of Law And Order
The year 2005 recorded a 14.5% decrease in the total number of crimes reported to the Police. Armed robbery was a challenge to the police and in reaction to this, the Police in collaboration with the military, undertook day and night patrols to curb the menace of armed robbery and other violent crimes. As a result of this, more than two hundred (200) suspected criminals were arrested and are being prosecuted for various crimes such as robbery, narcotics and child trafficking.
There was also increased collaboration among Law Enforcement Agencies of countries in the ECOWAS sub-region and this helped to check cross-border crimes leading to the arrest of a number of fugitive criminals.Public order disturbances and demonstrations were effectively managed with the formation of the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) in the Police Service through a French Support Project.
The Police Administration also created new divisions and districts to meet increasing population and geographical expansion. These have enabled the Police Service to move its services to the communities.The Prisons Service assisted in the national programme for the maintenance of law and order by holding remand prisoners and all those committed by the courts (criminals) in safe custody. The Service improved security in all its prisons to ensure that all those persons in custody could be kept securely within the various prison establishments.The current levels of crime in the country since its not as low as expected, the Police Administration will do all that it can to reduce it. The cooperation of the public will, of course, be very critical if we want to achieve the levels we intend to since the Police and other security agencies cannot work alone. The criminals live with us in our communities. It is hoped the public will assist in our efforts towards making sure that crime does not pay.
Protection Of Persons And National Assets
The role of the Ministry of the Interior in the protection of persons and national assets was largely attained through fire safety and disaster management.
During the period under review, the Ghana National Fire Service was able to contain two thousand, six hundred and eighty three (2683) fires nationwide from causing further destruction to other properties and human life. Notable among these were the PSC Tema Shipyard and the Azar Chemical Industry fires.The total cost of damage caused by fires countrywide is estimated at fifty three billion, six hundred and fifteen million, five hundred and seventy four thousand, fifty one cedis (¢53,615,574,051.00)As a preventive measure, the Ghana National Fire Service intensified its public education efforts. This resulted in one hundred and eighty one (181) institutions applying for and being given fire certificates to cover their premises.
In addition, a total of one thousand, one hundred and eighty six (1186) Community Fire Volunteers were trained in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to assist the Service curb the incidence of bush fires in the rural areas.With respect to disaster management, NADMO undertook public education campaigns on Flood Disaster Prevention, Plastic Waste Menace, Traffic and Boat Accidents, the Avian Flu, Radiology, Anthrax in Northern Ghana and Pest Infestation.
In the early parts of last year, there was a slight increase in motor accident cases on some major roads. However, with the sustenance of joint exercises by the Police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), coupled with continuous education, sanity was brought on the roads reflecting in a general decline of 12% in road accidents during the year.
Death casualties reduced by 26% and injury casualties by 19%. With the support of the World Congress of Rescue Organisations (WCRO) the Ghana National Fire Service was assisted last year to improve its capacity with respect to rescue operations.
A number of equipment, including computers, vehicles and equipment from freeing persons trapped in vehicles, have been provided to the Service and several persons trained in rescue operations. Additionally, the Ghana National Fire Service has been working with the Ministry of Health in training personnel for the Ghana National Ambulance Service.
The Prisons Service also helped in reducing crime by providing inmates with industrial training which helped to address offending behaviour and improved educational and vocational abilities. This helped to ensure that ex-convicts came out of prison having the tendency to be law-abiding and productive citizens. Private Security Organisations provide another means for protecting life and property in the country.
The Ministry has initiated a programme for the review of their operations to ensure that their activities complement the efforts of the public security institutions. This led to Stakeholders forum at which issues relating to the policy framework as well as the legislation governing the operations of the Private Security Organisations were discussed.
Immigration Controls And Citizenship Issues
One important aspect of the country's development agenda is to allow the speedy entry into the country of all persons who have a legitimate desire to assist with our development.
It is also important to ensure that undesirable persons do not enter the country. In this vein, the Ghana Immigration Service has successfully completed the computerised passenger clearance project at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA). This has remarkably minimised passenger processing time at the arrival and departure points.
Work is on-going at the other major entry points including Paga, Elubo and Aflao to install similar equipment.It is also essential that applications for work and residence permits for foreign nationals wishing to invest and stay in Ghana are speedily processed. To this end, the Ghana Immigration Service has introduced modern electronic technology for processing such applications.With the sudden influx of persons claiming to be running away from various forms of persecution from their home countries and countries of domicile, the Service has also established a Refugee desk at the Headquarters to speedily handle refugee/asylum issues.
The enforcement of all existing Immigration laws and all related enactments were also pursued effectively. In the past year, a total of two hundred and eighty-eight (288) foreign nationals were arrested and repatriated for committing various immigration offences. This number is made up of one hundred and sixty (160) African nationals, ninety (90) people of Asian origin, and eight (8) Western Europeans.
This was either due to illegal stay, illegal employment, or the use of fraudulent documents.
As part of the efforts towards improving the management of the country's borders, the Government has decided to enhance the capacity of the Ghana Immigration Service to perform more efficiently and effectively its responsibilities with respect to the entry and exit of persons to and from the country. This will enable The Service to deal with cross-border and travel-related crimes with a high degree of accuracy and efficiency.
The Service will also police the border to intercept any illegal entries into the country. The Ministry of the Interior is currently going ahead with the necessary arrangements to give effect to this decision.It is glad that, under the initiative of the Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana has been admitted into the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as a full member. This implies that migration will be managed as an integral part of our national development agenda.
The IOM should help us to achieve this through its various projects and programmes.Ghana currently hosts over sixty-two thousand (62,000) refugees with the bulk of them being Liberians. The country has two main Refugee Settlements, namely, Buduburum in the Central Region and Krisan Camp in the Western Region, all managed by NADMO. With the prospect of return of peace and stability to Liberia , the Governments of Ghana and Liberia together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2004 signed a Tripartite Agreement for the Voluntary Repatriation of Liberian Refugees in Ghana . The process of the Voluntary repatriation of Liberians started two years ago and over three thousand (3000) Liberian Refugees took advantage of the facilitation stage.With the election of a Government in Liberia , the Ministry has intensified discussions with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to speed up the Voluntary Repatriation exercise and it is hoped that many more Liberian refugees will take advantage to return and help rebuild their country.
The Ministry and UNHCR also helped to facilitate the voluntary return of Sierra Leonean refugees in the country. There was an influx of about three hundred (300) asylum seekers from the Darfur Region of Sudan and also about fifteen thousand (15,000) Togolese refugees.
In collaboration with other agencies such as NADMO, Immigration, Police and UNHCR, the Ghana Refugee Board successfully processed all these asylum seekers. Arrangements have been made for the successful management of all these refugees in consonance with our obligations under the various Refugee Agreements we have signed and ratified.
The country also witnessed riots by Refugees at the Krisan Refugee Settlement on 8th November 2005. The situation at Krisan has returned to normal and the Security Agencies are on top of the situation. Some of the perpetrators of the crimes, which led to damage worth over one (1) billion cedis have been arrested and are facing the due process of the Law.
Others who are on the run are being seriously pursued. Meanwhile, efforts are being made to relocate them in a third country, pending their final resettlement by the UNHCR. In the year 2005, NADMO, with other agencies, received and assisted a total of eight thousand (8,000) Ghanaian returnees from Libya, Morocco, Spain, Italy and Malaysia. NADMO catered for their feeding and transportation to their various destinations. The Ministry has been administering the Immigration Laws relating to Dual Citizenship which is available to Ghanaians who have acquired other nationalities. Since implementation of the law began, One thousand Nine hundred and seventy-nine (1,979) Ghanaians have been granted dual citizenship status.
Based on a number of considerations, the Ministry is also reviewing the processing of applications to speed it up. For the first time since 1993, Ghanaian citizenship has been granted to twenty-one (21) foreigners who have Ghanaian spouses. It is hoped that this will be the beginning of the process which will lead to the grant of Ghanaian citizenship to persons who qualify under the country's laws.
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Drug Law Enforcement
Ghana has not been left out in the global upsurge in drug trafficking.
Our entry points are gradually being used as transit points for drug trafficking and this situation has become a matter of great concern to the Government. Drug traffickers are taking advantage of the peace and stability in the country to undertake their illegal activities. If we are not careful, this country will become a haven for drug traffickers and dealers. To curb the availability of drugs in the country and the use of the country as a transit point, the Narcotics Control Board and the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Ghana Police Service intensified their interdiction efforts with the collaboration of other agencies.
With the assistance of our international partners, narcotics detection equipment have been installed at the Kotoka International Airport and this led to many arrests and seizures. Highlights of some of these seizures are as follows:
Over Ninety (90) high profile drug couriers were arrested between January and December 2005.
Most of these arrests were made at the Kotoka International Airport and over 50 kg of cocaine was seized over the period. Approximately seven (7) kg of heroin were seized.
Four (4) acres of cannabis plantation was destroyed in the Volta Region. Over 11,000 kg of cannabis was seized country-wide over the period The Drug Enforcement Unit of the Ghana Police Service made a huge seizure of narcotic drugs when two drug suspects were arrested with five hundred and eighty (580) kg of cocaine late last year.
The Police Service continues to collaborate with the Narcotics Control Board in drug law enforcement.
So far, the state had seven (7) convictions over the period.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom have been providing assistance to the country's agencies responsible for narcotics control to help them build their capacities.
Meanwhile, discussions are going on with Her Majesty's Customs Service of the United Kingdom to carry out on site training programmes for officers of the Narcotics Control Board at the Kotoka International Airport with respect to drug interdiction. The capacities of a number of other institutions have also been built to help them appreciate better the menace associated with narcotic drugs. These included the press and the judiciary.
Alternative Development Programme
Cannabis (Wee), which is locally cultivated, is the most abused drug country-wide. To minimise its availability, the Narcotics Control Board has introduced the Alternative Development Programme which seeks to persuade cannabis growers to go into the cultivation of food crops or undertake other economic ventures. So far, over one hundred and ninety (190) farmers have been persuaded and have gone through the programme at Essam in the Eastern Region. It is hoped to extend the programme to other areas where cannabis is grown over the next year.
Education, Treatment and Rehabilitation
It cannot be over-emphasised that the youth of this nation are the future leaders and therefore, the greatest national asset. To ensure that these future leaders are not lured into drugs, the demand reduction department of the Narcotics Control Board in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and some NGOs continued with its treatment, rehabilitation and sensitisation programmes throughout the country. Over fifty (50) schools were sensitised within the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions about the dangers of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. In all, about nine hundred (900) pupils were sensitised from various basic schools and tertiary institutions. Additionally, one hundred and thirty-two (132) drug educators were trained in 2005. This was made up of one hundred and twenty (120) School Health Educators and twelve (12) Non-Governmental Organisations. Over one thousand three hundred (1,300) drug abusers were treated and discharged at the various psychiatric hospitals around the country. Remar Ghana, an NGO, with the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was assisted to expand its treatment and rehabilitation facilities at Pakro, a village near Nsawam. Other machinery for shoe making, leather works and basketry were provided for the training of rehabilitated drug addicts.
Control Of Illicit Arms And Ammunitions
Due to the destabilisation in the sub-region and the illegal manufacture of local weapons and its attendant effects on the crime rate, the Ministry of the Interior undertook a number of activities to check the proliferation of illegal arms in the country. The Ghana Police Service embarked on an exercise of re-registration of rifles, shot guns and pistols between September and November last year. A number of people have been arrested and prosecuted for the illegal possession and manufacture of arms. The Ghana National Commission on Small Arms held Awareness Raising Campaigns in all the ten (10) regions of the country to sensitise the public on the negative impact of illicit production and proliferation of arms. It also begun a programme of carrying the awareness campaign to first and second cycle schools and with the support of UNICEF and UNDP, the programme has been launched at Kpando Secondary School . The Commission also undertook the destruction of two thousand (2,000) illicit arms which had been confiscated by the Police. The destruction took place at the Independence Square and the Tamale Police Park.