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POLICE FORCE (DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS) REGULATIONS, 1974

(LI 993).

 

ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS

PART I—DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITIES

Regulation

1. Central Disciplinary Board

2. Regional Disciplinary Board

3. Disciplinary authorities

PART II—PROCEDURE

4. Types of proceedings

5. Preliminary investigation

6. Written charge to be preferred

7. Opportunity for explanation

8. Withdrawal of charges

9. Rights of defendant

10. Requirements for all proceedings

11. Requirements for summary proceedings

12. Requirements for formal proceedings

13. Representation by counsel or superior officer

14. Interdiction

15. Referring cases to higher authority

16. Action of Regional Board in a case referred

17. Action of Central Board in a case referred

18. Procedure for imposition of penalties

19. Absence from duty

20. Removal for unsatisfactory service

21. Institution of criminal proceedings

22. Action on conviction in criminal proceedings

23. Appeals

PART III—GENERAL

24. Revocation.

IN exercise of the powers conferred on the Commissioner after consultation with the Inspector-General of Police by section 20 (3) of the Police Force Act, 1970 (Act 350), these Regulations are made this 9th day of December, 1974.

PART I—DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITIES

Regulation 1—Central Disciplinary Board.

(1) There shall be a Police Central Disciplinary Board, in these Regulations referred to as “the Central Board”, consisting of the Commissioner of Police Administration, or the most senior police officer for the time being in charge of administration at the Police Headquarters, and two other senior police officers at the Headquarters not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.

(2) The quorum for the Central Board shall be two, one of whom shall act as Chairman when the Chairman is absent on leave.

Regulation 2—Regional Disciplinary Board.

(1) There shall be a Police Regional Disciplinary Board, in these Regulations referred to as "a Regional Board”, for each Police Region.

(2) Each Board shall consist of the superior police officer in charge of the Region, and two other superior police officers appointed by the Inspector-General of Police.

(3) The quorum for a Regional Board shall be two, one of whom shall act as Chairman when the Chairman is absent on leave.

(4) For the purpose of these Regulations, the expression “Police Region” means an area designated as such by Police Force Instructions.

Regulation 3—Disciplinary  Authorities.

(1) Where the Chairman of the National Redemption Council delegates disciplinary powers to the Inspector-General, the following shall be disciplinary authorities:—

(a) the Central Board, which shall have power to impose all penalties;

(b) A Regional Board, which shall have power to impose—

(i)  all penalties on all ranks up to sergeant, and

(ii)  all minor penalties;

(c) a superior police officer, who shall have power to impose a penalty not more severe than stoppage of increment for one year.

(2) Where disciplinary powers have been delegated to the Inspector-General, he may in writing direct the Central Board or a Regional Board to nominate a superior police officer to enquire into the conduct of any member of the Force not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police.

(3) A major penalty imposed by a Regional Board shall be subject to review and approval by the Central Board, which may—

(a) approve the penalty; or

(b) substitute a finding of its own and reduce, cancel, increase or alter the penalty; or

(c) annul the proceedings before the Regional Board; or

(d) before taking any action refer the proceedings back to the Regional Board for such further investigation and report as the Central Board may direct.

(4) Any penalty imposed by a superior police officer shall be subject to review and approval by a Regional Board, which may—

(a) approve the penalty; or

(b) substitute a finding of its own and reduce, cancel, increase or alter the penalty; or

(c) annul the proceedings before the superior police officer; or

(d) before taking any action refer the proceedings back to the superior police officer for such further investigation and report as the Regional Board may direct.

(5)  A penalty which requires approval under paragraph (3) or (4) of this regulation shall not take effect until it has been so approved.

PART II—PROCEDURE

Regulation 4—Types of Proceedings.

(1) Disciplinary proceedings shall be either summary or formal.

(2)  Summary proceedings shall be a simple procedure in which the details and brief record are contained in a police disciplinary report form, and evidence shall not be recorded in writing nor shall it be on oath.

(3) Formal proceedings shall be conducted—

(a) when it is considered by the appropriate disciplinary authority that the case, if proved, calls for the imposition of a major penalty;

(b) when the case is one in which the disciplinary authority is the National Redemption Council; and

(c) when the Inspector-General, the Central Board or a Regional Board considers that in all the circumstances of the case formal proceedings are desirable.

Regulation 5—Preliminary Investigation.

Before disciplinary proceedings are instituted the appropriate disciplinary authority may cause an investigation to be made into the matter in such manner as he thinks fit.

Regulation 6—Written Charge to be Preferred.

(1) A written charge shall be preferred in all disciplinary proceedings, and shall include the time, date and place of the offence which shall be stated and described.

(2) In formal proceedings, a copy of the written charge shall be served on the defendant not less than three days before the hearing.

(3) In summary proceedings the written charge need not be served on the defendant, but the hearing shall commence as soon as practicable and the charge shall thereupon be read to the defendant in the orderly room.

Regulation 7—Opportunity for Explanation.

(1) At the time when a written charge is served upon a defendant in formal proceedings in accordance with regulation 6, he shall be informed that he may submit a written statement in explanation of the alleged offence within three days.

(2) A defendant in formal proceedings may request the appropriate disciplinary authority in writing for an extension of time within which to submit a statement in explanation, and the disciplinary authority, if satisfied that the request is reasonable, may grant such extension and shall not proceed to hear the charge until the expiration of the period of such extension.

(3) A written statement submitted in explanation in accordance with this regulation shall be sent to the appropriate disciplinary authority who, if he is satisfied with the explanation, shall withdraw the charge preferred and inform the defendant accordingly in writing.

Regulation 8—Withdrawal of  Charges.

A disciplinary authority may at any time for good cause withdraw a charge preferred and shall inform the defendant accordingly in writing.

Regulation 9—Rights of  Defendants.

(1) A defendant shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved or has pleaded guilty.

(2) He shall be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence.

(3) Except with his own consent, the hearing of disciplinary proceedings shall not take place in his absence unless he so conducts himself as to render the continuance of the proceedings in his presence impracticable and the disciplinary authority has ordered him to be removed and the proceedings to continue in his absence.

(4) Where he has been either found guilty or acquitted of a charge of misconduct arising out of particular facts, he shall not again be charged for misconduct arising out of substantially the same facts.

(5) He shall not be compelled to give evidence in any proceedings against him.

(6) He shall entitled to give evidence on his own behalf and to call witnesses for that purpose.

(7) He shall be entitled to cross-examine any witnesses against him and to examine any witnesses called by him.

Regulation 10—Requirements for all Proceedings.

(1) The following requirements shall be observed in the conduct of all disciplinary proceedings:—

(a) at the commencement of the hearing the charge shall be read over and, if necessary, interpreted and explained to the defendant;

(b)  the defendant shall then be called upon to plead guilty or not guilty;

(c) any written statement in explanation which the defendant may have made in accordance with regulation 7 shall be placed in evidence when the time comes for the defendant to make his defence, and shall be read over by the disciplinary authority to the defendant, who shall then be permitted, if he so wishes, to make a further verbal statement in explanation.

(2) A plea other than “ guilty” or “ not guilty” shall not be accepted, and where a defendant persists in making a plea other than “guilty” or “ not guilty “, or refuses to plead, a plea of “ not guilty”, shall be entered on his behalf by the disciplinary authority.

(3)  All  disciplinary charges shall be disposed of as expeditiously as possible.

(4) A superior police officer who is a witness for the prosecution in any disciplinary proceedings shall be debarred from conducting such proceedings in person or from sitting as a member of a Board to hear such proceedings.

(5) Where under paragraph (4) of this regulation a superior police officer is debarred from sitting as a member of a Board, the Inspector-General, on being so informed, shall in writing appoint another superior police officer in the Region to serve on the Board for the duration of the proceedings under reference.

Regulation 11—Requirements for Summary Proceedings.

(1) The Central Board, a Regional Board or a superior police officer may in their discretion hold summary proceedings where all the following conditions are satisfied:—

(a)  the authority vested in such disciplinary authority permits him to deal with the case;

(b)  having regard to the gravity of the offence the disciplinary authority considers that his powers of punishment are adequate;

(c)  the defendant, and any witnesses for and against him, are present in person.

(2)  A superior police officer shall not hold summary proceedings if the offence is of such a nature as to warrant the imposition of a major penalty.

Regulation 12—Requirements for Formal Proceedings.

The following requirements shall be observed in the conduct for of all formal  proceedings:—

(a)  after the defendant has pleaded, evidence shall be taken on oath or affirmation;

(b) opportunity shall be given to the defendant to cross- examine any witnesses who may be called to give evidence against him;

(c)  the defendant shall then be permitted to give evidence and to call witnesses on his own behalf;

(d)  documents or exhibits tendered by the prosecution or the defence may be admitted in evidence;

(e) any police officer shall be compellable at the instance of the prosecution or the defence (subject to any enactment relating to evidence for the time being in force) to give evidence or produce exhibits;

(f)  when a defendant, having heard the evidence, wishes to make a statement, he shall be informed that any statement he may make may be made on oath or otherwise at his option, and that such verbal statement will be put in evidence;

(g) the proceedings shall be recorded in writing, and any verbal statement which a defendant may make in addition to his written statement of explanation shall be taken down in writing.

Regulation 13—Representation by Counsel or Superior Officer.

(1) The defendant in any formal proceedings for his removal, dismissal or reduction in rank shall be entitled, if he so wishes, to be represented by counsel, or by a police officer not below the rank of Inspector Grade I.

(2)  The defendant in any other formal proceedings may be permitted sure representation at the discretion of the disciplinary authority presiding over those proceedings.

(3)  The prosecution in formal proceedings may be permitted such representation, for good reason shown, at the discretion of the disciplinary authority presiding, and in such case the defendant, if he so wishes, shall be permitted to be represented in the same manner.

(4) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no superior officer who is in any manner concerned in or connected with the case under enquiry shall be permitted to  represent a defendant.

Regulation 14—Interdiction.

(1)  Where proceedings for the dismissal or removal of a police officer are being or are  about to be taken or if criminal proceedings are being instituted against him, the Inspector-General may, if he considers that the interests of the Force require that the police officer concerned should cease forthwith to exercise the powers and functions of his office, interdict him from the exercise of those powers and functions.

(2) A police officer shall not be interdicted unless the nature of the case renders it desirable that he should not remain on duty while the case is pending, and he cannot be posted to other duties without detriment to the interests of the Force.

(3) Where a superior police office considers that any police officer under his command should be interdicted, he shall send a request for interdiction to the Inspector-General by the quickest possible means.

(4) If the decision of the Inspector-General is unlikely to be obtained within a period of forty-eight hours, the senior superior police officer in the unit or branch concerned may order that a subordinate police officer under his command shall cease to exercise his powers and functions, and shall report forthwith to the inspector-General the fact that the order has been given and the reasons therefor.

(5)  Where the Inspector-General receives a report under paragraph (4) he may—

(a) approve the interdiction of the police officer concerned and notify him that he has been interdicted and that such interdiction shall date from the time the order was given under paragraph (4); or

(b) decide not to exercise his powers to interdict and inform the parties concerned that the order is accordingly cancelled.

(6) A police officer who is interdicted shall receive a salary equivalent to two-thirds of his gross salary plus the sum of any deductions made from his salary on Government account, or 500 per annum whichever is the greater:

Provided that a police officer who is convicted of a criminal offence shall not receive any emoluments from the date of the judgment, pending the decision of the disciplinary authority empowered to dismiss  him.

(7)  If the disciplinary proceedings do not result in the dismissal of the police officer concerned the whole of the salary withheld from him shall be restored to him when the final decision is made.

(8) A police officer who is convicted of a criminal offence involving fraud, theft or dishonesty, or who is sentenced to imprisonment, shall be automatically interdicted from duty without salary as from the date of his conviction.

(9)  A police officer interdicted from duty shall not leave Ghana without the permission of the Inspector-General.

Regulation 15—Referring Cases to Higher Authority.

When it appears to a superior police officer that there is a prima facie case that any police officer serving under his command, and for whose discipline he is responsible has committed misconduct and—

(a)  the extent of his disciplinary authority does not permit him to deal with the offender; or

(b)  the circumstances are such that if the case were proved the punishment which he could impose would in his opinion be inadequate.

he shall if the service is in a Region, report the facts of the case to the senior police officer in charge of the Region for action by the Regional Board, and otherwise he shall report direct to the Inspector-General for action by the Central Board.

Regulation 16—Action of Regional Board in a Case Referred.

When a Regional Board receives a report under the provisions of regulation 15, it may, after considering the facts of the case take action as follows:—

(a)  if in the opinion of the Board the superior police officer who submitted the report has adequate disciplinary authority to deal with the case the Board shall instruct him to deal with it accordingly; or

(b)  if in the opinion of the Board the case is one which any other superior police officer should deal with by summary proceedings, the Board shall fix a suitable time and date for such proceedings and notify the superior police officer concerned accordingly; or

(c)  if, after causing such preliminary investigation to be made as the Board shall consider necessary, the Board is of opinion that the case should be dealt with by formal proceedings the Board shall formulate charges against the defendant and nominate an officer to hear the case; or

(d) if the Board is satisfied that the punishment which it could impose would be inadequate, or that it has insufficient disciplinary authority to deal with the case, it shall report the facts to the Central Board which shall formulate charges against the defendant and nominate an officer to hear the case; or

(e) the officer on completion of the enquiry shall submit the record of proceedings together with his findings and recommendations as to punishment to the Central Board.

Regulation 17—Action of Central Board in a Case Referred.

When the Central Board receives a report from a Regional Board under the provisions of regulation 16, or receives the report of a superior police officer from the Inspector-General under the  provisions of regulation 15, it shall after considering the facts of  the case, take action as follows:—

(a) if the Central Board is of opinion that the case is one which the Regional Board or superior police officer concerned has adequate disciplinary authority to deal with, it shall instruct the Regional Board or superior police officer to deal with the case accordingly; or

(b)  if the Central Board is of opinion that the case is one which it should deal with by summary proceedings it shall fix a suitable date and time for such proceedings and notify the Regional Board or superior police officer concerned accordingly; or

(c) if, after causing such preliminary investigation to be made as the Board shall consider necessary, the Board is of opinion that the case should be dealt with by formal proceedings the Board shall formulate charges against the defendant and proceed to hear the case.

Regulation 18—Procedure for Imposition of  Penalties.

(1) Where a Board or superior police officer has completed the hearing of proceedings, that disciplinary authority may impose such penalty within its powers as it considers adequate.

(2) If after completing a hearing a Regional Board forms the view that the maximum penalty which it can impose is inadequate, it shall send the findings and other relevant documents to the Central Board which shall thereupon impose such penalty within its powers as it considers adequate.

(3) If after completing a hearing a superior police officer forms the view that the maximum penalty which he can impose is inadequate, he shall send the findings and other relevant documents to the Regional Board which shall thereupon impose such penalty within its powers as it considers adequate.

Regulation 19—Absence from Duty.

Notwithstanding the provisions of regulation 9, where a police officer is absent from duty without leave or reasonable cause, and cannot be traced within a reasonable time, or if traced continues to absent himself, disciplinary proceedings against him may be conducted and the appropriate disciplinary authority may impose such penalty within its powers as it thinks fit upon him, notwithstanding that he does not attend such proceedings, or that he cannot be notified.

Regulation 20—Removal for Unsatisfactory Service.

(1)  Where the Inspector-General considers it necessary to institute proceedings against a police officer for his removal from the Force or reduction in rank on the ground of unsatisfactory service, the Inspector-General shall direct a Regional Board or the Central Board or a superior police officer to inquire into the matter in such manner as the Board or the superior police officer thinks proper by way of formal proceedings.

(2)  The Board or superior police officer so directed shall allow the police officer concerned an opportunity to show cause why he should not be removed from the Force or otherwise dealt with, for unsatisfactory service.

(3)  On the conclusion of its inquiry, the Board or the superior police officer shall take action as follows:—

(a) if the Board or the  superior police officer, on completion of the inquiry, considers that the allegation of unsatisfactory service has not been substantiated the Board or the superior police officer shall record that finding and forward the record of proceedings together with any comments to the Inspector-General who may either accept that finding or substitute a finding of his own, or

(b) if the Board or the superior police officer finds that the police officer concerned should be removed from the Force or reduced in rank on the ground of unsatisfactory service, the Board or the superior police officer shall forward the proceedings with any such recommendation to the Inspector-General for the imposition of such penalty; or

(c) if the Board or the superior police officer finds that the allegation of unsatisfactory service has been substantiated but that the circumstances are not sufficiently serious to require the removal or reduction in rank of the police officer concerned, the Board or the superior police officer shall make such recommendation as is considered appropriate and forward the proceedings together with the recommendations to the Inspector- General for any action he may wish to take.

Regulation 21—Institution of Criminal Proceedings.

The procedure for the institution of criminal proceedings against a member of the Force shall be as laid down in Police Force Instructions.

Regulation 22—Action on Conviction in Criminal Proceedings.

(1)  Where a member of the Force is convicted of a criminal charge in any Court, the facts shall be reported to the Inspector-General who, if satisfied that the conviction has brought such a degree of disrepute on the Force as to warrant the dismissal or removal of the person so convicted, shall refer the matter to the appropriate disciplinary authority for the imposition of such penalty as the disciplinary authority may think fit.

(2) The procedure for reporting cases and the method of dealing with such cases shall be as laid down in Police Force Instructions.

Regulation 23—Appeals.

(1) Where a penalty is imposed on a police officer of the rank of Inspector and above he may appeal to the Police Council against the decision, and the penalty shall not take effect until the appeal is determined.

(2) Where a penalty is imposed on a police officer below the rank of Inspector he may appeal to the Inspector-General of Police against the decision, and the penalty shall thereupon take effect until the appeal is determined.

(3) No appeal shall be entertained unless it is submitted within six weeks after the date on which the decision of the disciplinary authority is conveyed to the police officer concerned.

(4) An appeal shall be sent to the Police Council or Inspector-General of Police through the disciplinary authority who made the decision which is the subject of the appeal. The disciplinary authority shall attach to the appeal a copy of the record of the proceedings, the finding of the inquiry or investigation and all other relevant documents.

(5) When a police officer is notified of a penalty imposed on him in disciplinary proceedings, he shall be informed that an appeal may be lodged with the Police Council or, as the case may be, with the Inspector-General of Police, within six weeks of such notification

(6) The Police Council or Inspector-General of Police on hearing an appeal under these Regulations may substitute a finding of their own for any finding appealed against and may allow or dismiss the appeal and shall have power to reduce, cancel, increase or alter any penalty imposed.

(7) The Police Council or Inspector-General of Police when considering an appeal under these Regulations may, after consultation with the Central Board, annul any proceedings brought under these Regulations whether or not those proceedings are completed.

(8) The Police Council or Inspector-General of Police when considering an appeal under these Regulations may before taking any action refer the proceedings back to the relevant Board or superior police officer for such further investigation and report as the Police Council or Inspector-General of Police may direct.

PART III—GENERAL

Regulation 24—Revocation.

The Police Service (Disciplinary Proceedings) Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 688) are hereby revoked.

J.H. COBBINA

Commissioner for Internal Affairs

Date of Gazette Notification: 13th  December, 1974

 

 

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