The Department of Forensic Sciences at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the Ghana Police Service have entered into an agreement for personnel of the Ghana Police Service to be trained in Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Investigation, Cyber Security, Digital Forensics, Document Examination, and Financial Fraud Investigation.
The Memorandum of Understanding solidifies the cooperation between the two government institutions in their respective quests to improve crime prevention and detection and also bring meaning to the Inspector-General of Police’s vision to revamp the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service.
Head of the Forensic Science Department at the University of Cape Coast, Dr Richmond Afoakwa, tells Joy News’ Richard Kwadwo Nyarko the move has the ultimate purpose to deepen the collection and protection of evidence gathering in criminal investigations by the Ghana police service.
“With the current explosion of sophisticated crime in the nation and the sub-region, one cannot overemphasize the need for capacity building among security personnel. Within the framework of this MoU police officers are to receive training in Crime Scene Investigation, Questioned Document Examination, Cyber Security, Digital Forensics, and Financial Fraud Investigation,” he explained.
Dr Richmond Afoakwah expressed his frustration at seeing investigators’ continuous reliance on outmoded methods of investigation in the 21st century.
He said crime has become sophisticated and it will take an equally sophisticated, if not higher, method of investigation to unravel it.
“Adjudication of criminal cases relies heavily on credible evidence and credible evidence can only be gathered through credible contemporary scientific investigation. This is the only way to lubricate the proverbial slow-grinding wheels of justice.
“It is, hence, imperative for us to deliver these training programmes to build the capacity of our security officers and bring them at par with their international colleagues,” Dr Afoakwah said.
The University of Cape Coast established the Department of Forensic Sciences in 2015 and mandated it to produce experts in Forensic and Investigative Sciences to augment the nation’s justice delivery system.
During Joy News’ visit to the department, second year Forensic Science students were engrossed in a Forensic Ballistic practical session comparing bullets and shell casings on a comparison microscope.
Richard Kwadwo Nyarko noticed, among other devices in the Forensic laboratory, a Docubox HD used for examining questioned documents, a Docustat DS-220 used to visualize indented writings on documents and several crime scene kits.