Laws of Ghana Police Service. The primary functions of the Service are those stipulated in Section 1 of the Police Service Act, 1970 (Act 350). It states among others that: “It shall be the duties of the Police Service to prevent and detect crime, to apprehend offenders and to maintain public order and safety of persons and properties”.
Table of Contents
Ghana Police Service Act
1970 (ACT 350)
Section 1-Functions of the Service.
(1) It shall be the duty of the Police Service to prevent and detect crime, to apprehend offenders,
and to maintain public order and the safety of persons and property.
(2) Every police officer shall perform such functions as are by law conferred upon a police officer and
shall obey all lawful orders and directions in respect of the execution of his office which he may
receive from his superiors in the Police Service.
Section 2-Statutory Declarations.
Every superior police officer may take and receive the declaration of any person for the purposes of
the Statutory Declarations Act, 1835.
Section 3-Members of the Force.
The following shall be members of the Police Force:—
(a) the Inspector-General of Police;
(b) Commissioners of Police;
(c) Deputy Commissioners of Police;
(d) persons holding posts, or being of ranks, created under this Act; and
(e) persons holding posts created by or under any other enactment, being posts which are
designated by that enactment as Police Force posts.[As substituted by The Police Service
(Amendment) Decree, 1974 (NRCD 303) s.2]
Section 4-Administration of the Service.
(1) The Inspector-General of Police shall be the Head of the Police Service, and shall, subject to any
directions of the Minister, be responsible for exercising general day-to-day supervision over the
operation and administration of the Police Service.
(2) The Inspector-General of Police may delegate to any other members of the Police Service such of
his functions under this Act as he thinks fit.
Section 5-Filling of Vacancies.
(1) A vacancy in a Police Service post or rank may be filled—
(a) by promotion, that is by appointing a police officer who is to be moved from another grade or
rank with an immediate increase in his salary;
(b) by transfer within the Service, that is by appointing a police officer who is to be moved from
another grade or rank with no alteration in his salary;
(c) on reduction in rank, that is by appointing a police officer who is to be moved from another grade
or rank with an immediate reduction in his salary;
(d) by recruitment, that is by appointing a person who is not a police officer or who would cease to
be a police officer if the appointment were not made.
(2) Wherever practicable, a vacancy in the Police Service shall be filled either by promotion or transfer within the Service
3) Promotions shall be made according to merit.
Section 6-Acting Assignment.
(1) Where a Police Service post is vacant or a police officer is absent from duty for any reason the
Inspector-General of Police may assign a member of the Police Service to carry out the appropriate
(2) An assignment under this section shall cease to have effect—
(a) on the filling of the vacancy or the return to duty of the officer, as the case may be; or
(b) if some other person is assigned to carry out the said duties; or
(c) if the assignment is revoked by the Inspector General of Police.
Section 7-Functions of Public Services Commission.
The Public Services Commission shall, in the exercise of its functions under article 141 of the
Constitution and in consultation with the appropriate authority, provide in accordance with clause (6)
of article 140 of the Constitution for the procedure to be followed and requirements to be observed in
the making of appointments.
Section 8-Schemes of Service and Training.
(1) The Inspector-General of Police may, with the consent of the Minister, prepare schemes of service
giving details of duties, training facilities, and other matters relating to service as a police officer.
(2) There shall be a branch of the Police Service with the function of supervising and coordinating,
under the general direction of the Inspector-General of Police, arrangements for the training of
members of the Police Service.
Section 9-Modes of Leaving the Force.
(1) A person holding a post otherwise than on a limited engagement shall retire from the Police Force
on reaching the age of 55 years, or in the case of a woman on reaching the age of 50 years:
Provided that this subsection shall not prevent the appointment of any person on a limited
(2) A person holding a post as a police officer otherwise than on a limited engagement may retire
from the Police Force at any time after he has reached the age of 45 years, or in the case of a
woman 40 years:
Provided that a superior police officer may retire at any earlier time with the consent of the Chairman
of the National Redemption Council, and a subordinate police officer may retire at any earlier time
with the consent of the Inspector-General of Police.[As substituted by The Police Service
(Amendment) Decree, 1974 (NRCD 303) s.3]
(3) A police officer may resign from the Police Service in accordance with such conditions as may be
(4) A police officer may leave the Police Service on the expiry or other termination of a limited
(5) A police officer may leave the Police Service by transfer, with his consent, to employment in
another Public Service or to other approved employment in accordance with regulations made under
(6) A police officer may leave the Police Service on the abolition of his post; and where a post in a
grade is abolished by the revocation or amendment of the instrument by which it was created, the
appointing authority shall, if two or more persons hold posts in that grade, determine which of those
persons is to be treated as the person whose post is abolished.
(7) Unless the person in respect of whom a determination is to be made under subsection (6) is to be
promoted or transferred, he shall be given an opportunity to make representations to the appointing
authority, who shall consider any such representations before making the determination.
(8) Where a post or rank is held by an officer on probation and it appears to the appointing authority
during or at the end of the probationary period that he is unlikely to fulfil the requirements of the post or rank, the appointing authority may order that he shall cease to be a member of the Police
Service, and if no such order is made he shall revert to the post or rank, if any, held by him
immediately before the commencement of such probationary period.
Section 10-Membership and Functions of the Police Council
[Repealed by The Provisional National Defence Council (Establishment) Proclamation (Supplementary
and Consequently Proclamation Law, 1982 (PNDCL 42) s. 65].
Section 11-Composition and Functions of Regional Police Committees
[Repealed by The Provisional National Defence Council (Establishment) Proclamation (Supplementary
and Consequently Proclamation Law, 1982 (PNDCL 42) s. 65].
Section 12-Secretary to the Police Council.
(1) There shall be a Secretary to the Police Council who shall be a public officer.
(2) The Secretary shall not be a member of the Police Council, and he shall perform such
administrative functions relating to its work as the Police Council may determine.
Section 13-Protection from Legal Proceedings.
The Chairman and any member of the Police Council shall have the same protection and privilege in
case of any action or suit brought against him for any act done or omitted to be done in the exercise
of his duties in relation to the hearing of appeals under section 20 of this Act as is by law given to
acts done or words spoken by a Judge of the Superior Court of Judicature in the exercise of his
Section 14-Attendance of Public Officers.
The Police Council may require any public officer to attend and give evidence before it concerning any
matter which it is required to consider in the exercise of its functions.
Section 15-Production of Documents.
The Police Council may require the production of any official document reasonably required for the
exercise of its functions; and any public officer who submits any matter for the consideration of the
Police Council shall ensure that all relevant documents and papers are made available to the Police
Section 16-Failure to Comply with Request of Police Council.
Any public officer who without reasonable excuse fails to appear before the Police Council when
notified to do so, or who fails to comply with any request lawfully and properly made by the Police
Council, shall be guilty of misconduct and the Police Council may direct that the matter should be
brought to the notice of the appropriate disciplinary authority.
Section 17-Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Service.
It shall be misconduct for a police officer—
(a) to be absent from duty without leave or reasonable excuse;
(b) to be insubordinate;
(c) to use, without lawful authority, any property or facilities provided for the purposes of the Police
Service for some purpose not connected with his official duties;
(d) to engage in any activity outside his official duties which is likely to involve him in political
controversy or to lead to his taking improper advantage of his position in the Police Service;
(e) to engage in any gainful occupation outside the Police Service without the consent of the
Inspector-General of Police;
(f) to become or be a member of a trade union or of any other association (other than an association
authorised by the Minister) having similar objects;
(g) to sleep on duty;
(h) to take any alcoholic drink while on duty;
(i) to permit a prisoner to escape through negligence or wilfulness;
(j) to divulge any confidential information to a person not authorised to receive it;
(k) to do any other act without reasonable excuse which amounts to a failure to perform in a proper
manner any duty imposed on him as such, or which contravenes any enactment relating to the Police
Service, or which is otherwise prejudicial to the efficient conduct of the Police Service or tends to
bring the Police Service into disrepute.
Section 19-Disciplinary Authorities.
(1) The Chairman of the National Redemption Council acting in accordance with the advice of the
Police Council shall have disciplinary powers over all police officers.
(2) The Chairman of the National Redemption Council may delegate his disciplinary powers in respect
of all or any police officers to the Inspector-General of Police, and may authorise the Inspector-
General of Police to exercise all or any of the said powers through a disciplinary board or superior
police officer in accordance with regulations made under section 20.
(3) Any person or body in whom disciplinary powers under this Act are for the time being vested shall
be a disciplinary authority for the purposes of this Act.[As substituted by The Police Service
(Amendment) Decree 1994 (NRCD) s.5]
Section 20-Disciplinary Proceedings.
(1) Disciplinary proceedings shall be either summary or formal.
(2) No major penalty shall be imposed on an officer in summary proceedings not arising out of a
(3) The Commissioner after consultation with the Inspector-General of Police may by legislative
instrument make regulations providing for the conduct of disciplinary proceedings in cases of
misconduct or unsatisfactory service, and providing for appeals—
(a) to the Police Council, in the case of police officers of the rank of Inspector and above;
(b) to the Inspector-General of Police, in the case of police officers below the rank of Inspector.
(4) The defendant in any appeal proceedings before the Police Council shall be entitled to be
represented by counsel, and where he is so represented, the Police Force shall also be entitled to be
represented by counsel.
(5) Subject to the provisions of this Act and except as may be otherwise provided by regulations
made under this section, the Police Council on deciding an appeal under this section may make such
Order thereon as it thinks fit.
(6) The Inspector-General of Police shall not be entitled to sit as a member of the Police Council for
the purpose of determining an appeal made to the Police Council.
(7) Where the defendant in any disciplinary or appeal proceedings referred to in this section has
Exhausted all available processes provided by this Act or regulations made thereunder, and is
Aggrieved in respect of any matter relating thereto, he may petition the Chairman of the National
Redemption Council whose decision shall be final.[As substituted by The Police Service (Amendment)
Decree 1974 (NRCD 303) s.5].
Section 20-Dismissals, Removals, etc. from the Police Service.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the Police Service Act, 1970 (Act 350), any regulations made
Thereunder or any other enactment the Provisional National Defence Council in consultation with the
Police Council shall have power to dismiss, remove or take any disciplinary action as it may consider
Necessary against any member of the Polic Service.[Inserted and to be cited as Police Service
(Amendment) Law, 1988 (PNDCL 194A), s.1].
Section 20-Courts Prohibited from Entertaining Actions.
No Court or other Tribunal shall entertain any action whatsoever or take any decision, make an order
Or grant any relief in any proceedings in respect of any claim arising from any dismissal, removal or
Disciplinary action taken against a member of the Police Service under section 1 of this Law.[Inserted
And to be cited as Police Service (Amendment) Law, 1988 (PNDCL 194A), s.2].
Section 21-Pay not to Accrue in Certain Cases.
(1) No pay shall accrue to any police officer in respect of any period during which he is absent from
Duty without leave, unless the Police Council in the case of a superior police officer, or the Inspector-
General of Police in any other case, authorises the payment of such proportion of his pay, not being
More than one half, as the Council or the Inspector-General of Police thinks fit.
(2) No pay shall accrue to any police officer in respect of any period during which he is absent from
Duty as a deserter or undergoing any sentence of imprisonment for any offence of whatever nature.
Section 23-Complaints by the Public.
(1) Any member of the public shall be entitled, without prejudice to any other means of redress
Legally available to him, to make a complaint in writing, signed by him, as to—
(a) Any instance of bribery, corruption, oppression or intimidation by a police officer;
(b) Any neglect or non-performance of his duties by a police officer;
(c) Any other misconduct by a police officer.
(2) A complaint of bribery, corruption, oppression or intimidation shall be addressed to the superior
Police officer in charge of the district or unit to which the police officer concerning whom the
Complaint is made belongs or to the Inspector-General of Police.
(3) A complaint of neglect or non-performance of duty or other misconduct shall be addressed to any
Superior police officer.
(4) The Inspector-General of Police or superior police officer, as the case may be, on receiving a
Written complaint under this section, shall cause a full and impartial investigation to be made, and
(a) Send a report of his conclusions to the complainant;
(b) Take such action on the report as the circumstances may require.
(5) Any person who knowingly makes any false or malicious complaint under this section shall be
Guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred new cedis.
(1) A police officer who deserts shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not
Exceeding fifty new cedis or to imprisonment not exceeding three months, or to both.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a police officer deserts who leaves or fails to attend at his place
Of duty with the intention of remaining permanently absent from duty without proper authority or if,
Having left or failed to attend at his place of duty in any circumstances, he does any act with the like
(3) A person who has been absent without authority for a continuous period of twenty-one days or
More shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to have deserted for the purposes of this
Section 25-False Statement on Appointment.
Any police officer who on appointment in the Police Service falsely states that he has not been
Convicted of or imprisoned for a criminal offence or that he has never been employed by the
Government shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred
New cedis or to imprisonment not exceeding six months, or to both.
Section 26-Refusal to Serve.
Any person enlisted as a supernumerary or special police officer, and any member of the Volunteer
Police Reserve called out for active service who, without reasonable cause refuses or neglects—
(a) To serve on being called upon; or
(b) To obey any lawful order or direction,
Shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred new cedis,
Unless he satisfies the Court that he was prevented from serving or complying with any such order or
Direction by sickness or such other unavoidable cause as the Court deems a sufficient excuse
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