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19.12.2006 Social News

Armed robbery rate drops

By gna
Armed robbery rate drops
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Crime statistics indicate that armed robberies have decreased dramatically in the last quarter of this year as compared to last year, the Police confirmed.

The downward trend has been the result of a number of proactive measures put in place by the Police administration.

Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, Minister of the Interior, Minister for National Security, Mr Francis Poku and Mr Isaac Boafo, Deputy Minister of Defence confirmed this when they took turns to address an emergency National Police Commanders Conference in Accra.

Mr. Patrick Acheampong, Inspector General of Police said the meeting was to review plans agreed upon in the year and exchange ideas on ways to make the fight against violent crimes more effective.

He said, "It is now evident that, we now have a relatively calm nation where most regions experience little or no violent crimes for long periods, compared to the peak period between 1997 and 2001 when violent crimes particularly armed robberies were rampant and common throughout the country".

He said, despite the relative calm, areas like Accra, Tema and Kumasi still experienced pockets of violent crimes, hence the meeting.

Mr. Acheampong said both operational and administrative concerns would be considered to enable
the police to render greater service of satisfaction to Ghanaians.

Giving the overview, Dr. Kofi Kesse Manfo, Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of Operations said in 2005, 1,399 robberies were recorded nationwide, of which Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions recorded over 77 percent, while the rest were recorded in the other eight regions.

"A comparison of monthly statistics for the years 2005 and 2006 shows a substantial reduction in cases recorded in the first two months and the last quarter of 2006.

"The first two months showed reduction of 13.3 per cent and 45.2 per cent respectively over those of 2005."

Dr Manfo said between March and August this year, there were substantial increases over those of 2005, while the September to November figures for 2006 reduced to an aggregate of 37.4 per cent.

He said the Police would not relax on its oars but institute measures like public education, intelligence gathering, cultivation of informants, neighbouring watch on criminals, and selective swoops, among others, to check crime.

He said, apart from reinforcing those measures, Regional, Divisional and District Commanders were charged to put in place extra measures to check criminal activities.

Dr Manfo said additionally, Police had set up some barriers to make them more operational, whilst patrols were mounted at sensitive installations.

He said the Police would continue to seek public assistance in curbing robberies by offering reliable information about suspects and known criminals.

In his remarks Mr. Kan Dapaah said in spite of the cocaine saga and the shooting incidents at Dansoman and Kotobabi the Police had emerged strongly and commended the Inspector General of Police for his performances up to date.

He said as the country approaches the New Year, new challenges might emerge and the Police should wake up to the occasion.

Mr. Kan Dapaah said though robbery levels had come down there was the need to educate the public on perception crime in ccordance with the statistics.

He said government acknowledged the difficulties the Police faced in terms of logistics and would work to resource the service.

Mr. Poku said the challenges were prelude to success adding, "I believe the IGP is capable to handle the security of the state".

He said National Security would continue to support the Police with all the intelligence, especially with the approach to the Golden Jubilee anniversary and other major conferences Ghana was to host next year.

Mr. Boafo acknowledged the efforts of the Police to maintain law and order despite its logistical constraints, adding that the security agencies would continue to collaborate in the combat against crime.