IGP David Asante-Apeatu
The Ghana Police Service is set to launch a cyber intelligence unit. While this concept is long overdue we can only state however that better late than never.
The sophistication of fraud via cyber techniques has overtaken the world like storm overwhelming everybody especially those of us in the third world.
Unfortunately our law enforcement system has been, due to internal challenges, unable to cope with the speed with which the trend is sweeping the world.
The global village which the world is today is so intertwined that such fraudulent acts are easily undertaken across frontiers. Countries whose law enforcement agencies fail to upgrade themselves by being abreast with the nasty trends, are doing disservice to themselves and their nations in general.
The decision by the Ghana Police Service to set up this unit to deal with the subject under review is a step in the right direction.
Even as the unit is on the verge of being established, it is our request that the training manual of cops at the depots should include something about cyber crime so that constables would be modern officers with a wide range of knowledge about trending crimes. This is an expensive venture – the dividends from which would impact positively on the country. It is the reason we ask government to consider augmenting the police budget so that they can sufficiently catch up with the IT-driven fraud.
Even more worrying is the fact that many of the cyber criminalities taking place in the country are perpetrated by sophisticated foreigners from neighbouring countries. They have initiated many Ghanaian youth into the game – most of them doing well in the criminal occupation.
Each time they succeed in their ventures, it adds a blemish to the image of the country which is another reason the Police must be supported to prime themselves for the task ahead.
It is not an easy task because the players are always learning new ways of being ahead. When our law enforcement agents are primed with the knowledge and the necessary logistics to respond accordingly to an IT-age fraud, they would have succeeded in calling the bluff of these clever fellows.
They are always a step or more ahead of their pursuers even when the latter are knowledgeable in managing cyber crime. In the case of limited or even dearth of the requisite knowledge, they would, as they have mostly been, be overtaken by the criminals.
In our neighbourhoods, the quantum of money being made through cyber fraud can only be imagined. Nobody dare question the source of these amounts of money; such curiosity often leading to being labeled an envious person in our typical local settings.
Youth as young as 18 commanding thousands of dollars through fraudulent means should attract the attention of their parents to be responsible enough to pose questions. That hardly happens and such criminals rather attract accolades for being smart.
The Cyber Crime Intelligence Unit would go a long way reducing the incidence of cyber crime to the barest minimum.