Police views of suicidal persons and the law criminalizing attempted suicide in Ghana: A qualitative study with policy implications

Osafo, Joseph and Akotia, Charity S. and Boakye, Kofi E and Andoh-Arthur, Johnny (2017) Police views of suicidal persons and the law criminalizing attempted suicide in Ghana: A qualitative study with policy implications. Journal of Police Emergency Response. ISSN SO-17-0313.R1 (Accepted)

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Abstract

The penal code of Ghana condemns suicide attempt. The present study sought to explore the views of the police on persons who attempt suicide and the law criminalising the act. Qualitative in-depth interviews were used to explore the views of 18 officers of the Ghana police service. Data was analysed using Thematic analysis technique. Findings showed that the police officers profiled suicide attempters as needy, enigmatic, ignorant and blameworthy. Majority (n=14) of them disagreed with the law and suggested a repeal, whereas only four (n=4) of them agreed with the law. Regardless of their positions on criminalization, they showed an inclination to ‘help’, rather than ‘arrest’, when confronted with such persons in line of their duty. Educating the police on suicidal behaviour may help to deepen their understanding and help improve the way they handle suicidal persons. This may also strengthen police suicide prevention gatekeeping obligations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Attempted Suicide, Criminalization, Ghana, Ghana Police Service, Suicidal Persons
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Kofi E Boakye
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 13:47
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 09:31
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/701999

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