British colonial rule: Its impact on police corruption in Ghana

Kofi Odei Addo

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Knowledge and perception of policing and police corruption in most developing societies, including Ghana, seem to reflect through the media. Yet, of course, police corruption is an old and multifaceted issue. In Ghana, it can be argued that it has historical roots extending to the period when professional policing was first introduced during the colonial era -1831. Police forces established during British colonial rule in most countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, and India, are perceived to be incredibly corrupt, violent, and exploitative. Contemporary policing in sub-Saharan Africa is a colonial legacy and in that capacity imperialism and its legacies have foreordained the nature and styles of policing, functions, structures, and accountability in the post-colonial period. As such, chronic corruption within the Ghanaian police service can be linked to the legacy of the British colonial authorities. The aim is to present the social and cultural context for understanding police corruption in Ghana. This paper examines a body of literature and explores various forms of social control, particularly, policing and argues that the existence and the practices of police corruption in contemporary Ghanaian society have a significant element of colonialism as the primary influential factor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalInternational NGO Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


  • Policing
  • colonial police
  • police corruption
  • colonial rule


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