HeadlineLegalPublic Service

Sex offenders register in the offing, DOVVSU hints at Justice Foundation seminar

The director of DOVVSU, a unit within the Ghana Police Service, announces that the service will soon introduce a register of sex offenders to assist the country’s fight against crime

The director of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent Owusua Kyeremeh, says the service will soon introduce a sex offenders register to support the country’s crime prevention efforts.

She made this disclosure when she participated in a webinar organised by the Justice Foundation, a non-profit-making organisation which champions broad access to justice by citizens, in collaboration with Glitz Africa, Ghana’s leading fashion, lifestyle and entertainment brand. The theme for the talk was “Eradicating a Culture of Rape in Ghana”.

“In Ghana generally, we document all convicts: there is a procedure that we go through. We don’t have one specifically for rape convicts, but we intend to do going forward – it is on the drawing board that we establish a register for people who have been convicted of rape so that it can be something that we can make reference to,” said Ms Kyeremeh during the virtual seminar, moderated by Bettina Kwarteng, deputy executive director of the Justice Foundation and legal practitioner.

Sex offender register

A sex offender register is a system, common elsewhere in the world, that is designed to allow government officials to keep track of the activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences. In some jurisdictions, registration is accompanied by residential address notification requirements. In many countries, registered sex offenders are subject to additional restrictions, including limitations on where they can live.

Those on parole or probation may be subject to restrictions which do not apply to other parolees or probationers. Sometimes these include (or have been proposed to include) restrictions on being in the presence of underage persons (under the age of majority), restrictions on living in proximity to a school or daycare centre, owning toys or items targeted at children, or using the internet.

Registered sex offenders are not allowed to sign up for or use Facebook or other social media platforms.

Sex offender registers exist in many English-speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States. The US is the only country with a register that is publicly accessible; all other countries in the English-speaking world have sex offender registers accessible only by law-enforcement officials.

Extend database of sex offenders

Raymond Owusu-Ansah, a legal practitioner and medical doctor who also participated in the webinar, called on the Police Service to include evidence of people whose details may have been discovered after acts of rape but who were not necessarily arrested.

Raymond Owusu-Ansah, legal practitioner and medical doctor


“I think, going forward, we should also be looking at not only those who have been convicted, because it is not all rape cases that you turn to find or prosecute to the end. But if you are able to get evidence, but you can’t get identity to that evidence, [if] you are able to get DNA samples, this can be added to that database.

“What it does is that, in the future, it can also assist in arresting the person who may have committed this one and managed to escape through the loophole,” Dr Owusu-Ansah said.

The Justice Foundation

The Justice Foundation is an apolitical, not-for-profit, non-religious organisation, with the sole purpose of increasing access to justice in Ghana.

Founded by Kwaku Agyeman-Budu (a lawyer, law lecturer and head of Law Centres at the GIMPA Faculty of Law) and incorporated in 2013, the Justice Foundation believes that injustice, however it manifests, is unacceptable and should be condemned and eradicated by means of gradual, systematic action.

Under its mandate, the Justice Foundation engages in community legal aid outreach programmes, training sessions and workshops, as well as representing certain categories of indigent individuals on a pro bono basis.

Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio

* Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected