Saturday, 14 December 2013

Use Google's Smartphone Policing Application To Fight Corruption At Ghana's Ports

Author's note: This piece was written on 21/11/2013. It is being posted today, because I was unable to do so on the day. Please read on:

An experiment by Google Ideas and the Rio de Janeiro-based think thank, the  Igarape Institute, in which a smartphone policing application uploads encrypted video footage, of police on foot patrol in the farvellas of Rio de Janeiro interacting with residents, to a cloud server, ought to be studied by the Ghanaian authorities.

It could help eliminate most of the corruption in Ghana's ports and other entry points.  As it improves oversight over customs officers (and members of the other security agencies) on the ground,  who interact with the general public, by their commanders at headquarters, it would also help protect those officers from false allegations of unlawful conduct made against them by the public.

The Google smartphone policing application could also be a perfect tool for tackling indiscipline amongst members of the  various security agencies in our country - and prevent the abominable and unspeakable  horrors we heard being recounted by brutalised victims of  prison officers, police officers and soldiers, who appeared before the Kufuor-era National Reconciliation Commission (NRC). And it could also deter officers of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service from engaging in acts of corruption.

The fact that customs, police and immigration officers posted to even the remotest entry points along Ghana's borders, could be monitored in real time by their commanders at headquarters, could make the Google smartphone policing application a powerful and relatively inexpensive tool,  to fight corruption at Ghana's ports and other entry points,  along our country's  borders. One hopes the powers that be will take this up with Google Ideas as soon as practicable. A word to the wise...

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