“No docket is closed; we conduct in-depth investigations to unravel facts before prosecution” – CID PR
The cause behind this article is to gain some clarification on what goes into investigations in Ghana. As a matter of fact, the public appears to impose pressure on the Ghana Police Service whenever there are such public interest cases.
Some of these cases come with hullabaloos along with pressure from the public, whom in a way or the other feels it may later become a ‘foolish case’ or ‘lack evidence’; leading to some cases coming to abrupt end.
Such cases include, the ‘Cocaine-turn-Konkonte powder’, ‘Chris Brown wee-saga’, ‘Woyome-GHS51.2m-scandal’ (though prosecution has taken place), etc.; not forgetting the respective ongoing investigation into ‘Fennec Okyere’s killing-saga’ and ‘Castro, Janet Bandu’s search’.
Are dockets to cases closed; what goes into an investigation in Ghana as many citizens seem to have lost hope in the law enforcers and others doubt if professional and right equipments are used during investigations are some of the questions Ghanaians seek know.
In an exclusive interview with amalarbieafrica.com, the Public Relations Officer for Ghana Criminal Investigation Department, ASP Joseph Darkwah outlined how investigations are conducted and also, why some cases may or not take long to unravel it offenders.
The CID PR indicated that no crime docket is closed, or a suspect falsely charged although a case of public interest may delay prosecution; rather we do a thorough investigation on such cases.
He noted that even before an investigation begins, “the victim must first go to the police station and make an official report that an offence has been committed; upon that request a detective will be assigned to investigate the case.”
Emphasizing on what investigation is, ASP Darkwah indicated, “it is a way of gathering evidence or information including data collection which has linkage to the offence reported so as to approve or disapprove an alleged offence committed as well as assist trace the perpetrators of the crime who will no longer be a suspect instead be charged with the offense.”
“We also use interrogations as part of the investigation process. The most important aspect of an investigation is the crime scene which talks for itself, therefore, as soon as the Crime Scene Team get to a scene as such, the first thing done is to Secure the Crime scene and then, lookout for evidence including blood samples, used cutleries, machetes, used gadgets (spent shells) or anything that is of evidential purpose,” he outlined.
Adding, “we then take the collected evidence found on the crime scene to the laboratory for forensic analysis so as to know whose items are those; whose blood we found through DNA tests; who touched this or that; whose fingerprint is on the items; where is it from, etc.; therefore, the importance of the crime scene in the investigative process is very paramount.”
ASP Darkwah mentioned that the equipments used in gathering info on a crime scene includes tape measures, camera, cello tape, fingerprint kit, pattern print lifter, trajectory, knife/syringe tube, etc. and plastic sealable bags (paper bags/ containers); “where the items and samples found on the crime scene are kept.”
Asked if there had been cases where there were no witnesses to back evidence; ASP Darkwah indicated, “When there are no witnesses to a case that does not hinder us from going on with our investigations, because the crime scene speaks for itself, yet analysis from the forensic laboratory has a bigger part to play in an investigation.”
On what happens if the crime scene is without a trace to the contact (perpetrators or offender); he issued that every contact leaves a trace in all circumstances hence, “they never stop investigation as the offender will in course of time be linked to an offense either through forensic analysis or profiling.”
“We don’t end investigations and close dockets on such cases; instead, we further with in-depth investigations and no matter how long it takes, dockets are not closed as in reality it is our responsibility to unravel facts in a criminal case and make sure the perpetrators are brought to book,” ASP Darkwah reiterated.