Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Joseph Quainoo, the Jaman District Police Commander says Police medical report must be provided free of charge for victims of violence.
This would facilitate expeditious investigations into cases of assault, rape, defilement and related sexual offences.
He said medical reports served as an empirical evidence very essential in the prosecution of cases of violence, regretting that because some victims could not pay for the bills, they were unable to acquire, thereby denying them access to justice delivery.
“When this happened then perpetrators are likely to escape justice for the sin they have committed because the medical form is an expert opinion,” DSP Quainoo stated on Friday when he was speaking at a public forum on the Case Tracking System (CTS) and Access to Justice held at Goka, a farming community in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region.
DSP Quainoo said the government must consider either full payment or subsidizing the cost of medical bills ranging mostly between GH¢300 and GH¢400 to make it affordable for victims to acquire the medical reports, if the nation was truly committed to enhance her justice delivery system.
The Commonwealth Human Right Initiative (CHRI), a non-governmental organisation with support from MIHOSO International Foundation, its local partners organised the forum to sensitize the residents on the CTS and the Access to Justice delivery.
It was attended by traditional leaders, artisanal workers, market women and traders as well as Assembly Members and food vendors.
DSP Quainoo reminded that a suspect remained a suspect until he or she had been prosecuted by Court and cautioned the general public against instant justices meted out to suspects, saying the law would not spare those who engaged in such lawlessness.
He said modern policing and justice delivery remained a shared and collective responsibility and appealed to the general public to support the Police in that direction by volunteering information and assured the confidentiality of informants were always guaranteed.
Mr Thomas Benarkuu, the Programmes Director of MIHOSO explained access to justice was a constitutional provision and no Ghanaian should be denied such constitutional right.
He said Article 294 clause two of the nation’s constitution clearly outlined people’s right to justice delivery, and appealed to the government to adequately resource justice sector institutions, particularly the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Legal Aid Commission (LAC).
Mr Benarkuu said offices of CHRAJ and LAC ought to be established and brought to the door step of the people at the community levels so that the less privileged, the marginalised and the poor in the society would easily access their services for quality and prompt justice delivery.
Mr Benarkuu said until the presence of the CHRAJ and LAC were well felt at the community levels, it would remain difficult for the poor and the under-privileged in society to access their services and enhance the nation’s justice delivery system.
He said CHRAJ and LAC required adequate staffing and logistical support not only to improve on their service delivery, but also sensitize the people to understand their constitutional work environment and relevance in society.