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02.11.2007 Crime & Punishment

Armed robbers menaceCommunity policing is the answer

By Accra Mail

Not too long ago, Ghanaians were told by the authorities that the police would be equipped to go on the beat in communities and their efforts would be augmented by the services of watchdog committees.

In the national capital, there were signs here and there of police personnel on bicycles, light motorbikes and on foot. It was to be a nine day wonder! They have all disappeared from sight and duty!

Crime fighting is always a bottom up affair – from the communities to the top national forensic and intelligence agencies.

Now that we are being terrorized by armed robbers, isn't it about time that we revisited the community policing project all over again?

Our police personnel could be more community-friendly if they are motivated enough. We have seen how some of them perform over and above the call of duty when the occasion demands. The latest example is how one policeman thwarted the efforts of five armed robbers attempting to rob a cold store in Kumasi this week. One of the robbers lost his life in the process due to the vigilance of the policeman.

Equip them, put them on local beats, augment their efforts with neighbourhood watchdog committees – the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) can be of help here – and the menace of armed robbers, we believe would come under control. Is someone in authority reading us…?