The fact remains that vicious and sanguineous crimes have unfortunately been a societal problem from time in memorial, and therefore it is quite unfortunate for anybody to resort to petty politicking in a moment of sorrow.
The spate of monstrous crimes, such as armed robberies, kidnappings, and mindless murders during Mahama’s administration, in fact, prompted The then IGP in 2015 to inaugurate a seven-member committee, codenamed –Cold Case - to investigate the rampant armed robberies and murder cases, locate perpetrators and put forward recommendations (See: Police inaugurates special unit to investigate murder cases – MyJoyOnline, 30/01/2015).
Given the high levels of heinous crimes under their watch, observers cannot be faulted for condemning the NDC loyalists regrettable comments on the recent mindless murders and armed robberies in the country.
How could a responsible opposition persistently and unblushingly incite the public against the incumbent government over a long-standing societal menace they wilfully failed to address whilst in power?
You may take my word for it, dearest reader, this is not a desperate attempt to engage in any extraneous or pathetic political equalisation, far from it. But for the sake of balanced annotation and to situate the topic under discussion in the right perspective, it is somewhat relevant to enumerate the facts and figures of Ghana’s crime rate during the erstwhile NDC administration.
It is, indeed, true that the Ghana Police Service, whose responsibility is to protect lives and property, had had so many victims in the revoltingly ugly and bloody crimes in the country over the years.
Take, for example, according to the findings of a comprehensive meta-analysis conducted by observers, the number of officers that have been regrettably killed in their line of duty from 2013 to 2018 is 48 in total.
In 2013, for example, 13 officers were murdered; 2014 – 11; 2015 – seven; 2016 – six; 2017 – seven and 2018 – four (See: 48 cops killed in line of duty in 4-years; cityfmonline.com, 23/01/2018).
Regrettably, in 2013, the Ghana Police Service recorded 551 murder cases, 543 in 2014 and 525 in 2015. Kidnapping surged from 114 in 2013 to 120 in 2014.
Robbery cases reached 1,411 in 2015, having shot up from 2013’s 1,235 and 1,116 in 2014.
With regards to rape cases, complaints rose from 484 in 2013 to 514 in 2014, before dipping to 451 in 2015.
Overall, crime rate in 2015 stood at 4,715 cases, down from 4,738 in 2014 and 4,845 in 2013(Source: Ghana Police Service, 2016).
The all-important question every discerning Ghanaian should be asking then is: what pragmatic steps and measures did the administration at the time put in place to arrest the troubling situation?
Certainly, it goes without saying that the Ghana Police Service is seriously under-resourced. Suffice it to stress that the successive governments failed woefully to adequately equip such an important law enforcement body.
Disappointingly, however, the same people who shamefully slept on their job and blatantly failed to resource our security forces whilst in power for eight years now have the brashness to hop from one Radio/Television station to another, nagging, shrieking and grouching over vicious murders and armed robberies.
Indeed, heinous and other squeamishly ugly crimes including armed robberies, kidnappings and murders have been the nation’s painful headache over a long period of time. Nevertheless, the successive governments have regrettably failed to tackle the menace head-on.
We should, however, take solace in the fact that the incumbent NPP administration has shown some seriousness in fighting crime in the country.
The government’s commitment towards the fight against crime was evidenced in the release of funds to resource the Ghana Police Service.
Of course, the amount involved may not address all the Ghana Police Service’s problems. But at least the NPP government has shown enough commitment to equipping the security forces. Indeed, there are signs of seriousness on the part of the incumbent government to address the situation head-on.
In sum, whatever the case, the opposition NDC loyalists cannot and must not attempt to exonerate themselves from any blame in respect of the inadequate police resources.
K. Badu, UK.