The European NORPREVSEC project is supporting the installation of the WAPIS database to improve the exchange of information between security forces in five regions in northern Ghana
The European NORPREVSEC project, for security in northern Ghana, is supporting the use of the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) database, which allows security forces to monitor, analyse and collect information that can improve intelligence in northern Ghana.
The project is working with a counter-terrorism operational training centre of the Ghana Immigration Service, which has requested FIIAPP’s support for intelligence training. The aim is to enhance the effectiveness of the institution’s personnel in tactical counter-terrorism capabilities when serving in the border areas of the five northern regions of Ghana.
The opening session of the training was attended by the regional commanders of the police, immigration and prisons. The project emphasised the importance of providing all security agencies with a single database and a single procedure for the exchange of information to implement the first two pillars of the National Security Strategy: prevention as a means of combating the terrorist threat and transnational crime.
The INTERPOL Director presented the security situation at the national level, reporting a growing increase in migration flows, attacks mostly due to ethnic conflict and an increase in the number of cases where violence is used to commit crimes.
The training was also attended by the regional commander of the Tamale Crime Unit and experts from the WAPIS team. Emphasis was placed on the increase of human trafficking cases in Ghana, especially in the Accra area, with false promises of jobs. It was also stressed that terrorism is a global problem and Ghana is not immune to the terrorist threat. It is therefore an obligation of all security agencies in northern Ghana to work together.
The project manager gave the example of the EUROPOL database and emphasised the importance of information and evidence gathering. The recent case of a mobile phone found in northern Ghana was given as an example, in which, following an analysis of the memory card, images of terrorists taken in Burkina Faso were detected.
The training provided a detailed analysis of the definition of WAPIS, its structure and its ability to connect all security agencies under a single operational protocol, explaining the capabilities it enables. In order to train the 25 trainees in how to use the database, such as how to enter reliable information into the database, training was provided in the various forms and variants of WAPIS.
The regional commander of the Judicial Police Unit in Tamale, where the first WAPIS computer was installed and is now 100% operational with objective results, presented the various police operations carried out based on the information provided by WAPIS, stressing the importance of collecting and entering information for all security agencies.
In addition, meetings were held with the regional commanders of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service and Prisons, with the aim of informing them of the installation of a WAPIS team and continuing institutional relations within the framework of the project.