14.01.2008 Regional News

Crime declines in Ashanti Region

By The Statesman
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The Ashanti region has between January and December last year recorded a decline in road accidents, recording 1546 as against 2857 in 2006 representing 46% reduction.

In 2006, 408 persons were killed in fatal road accidents while in 2007, road fatalities reduced to 198, a percentage decline of 35, whereas 1891 persons got injured in 2006 as against 1227 in 2007.

Robbery cases recorded in the region from January to December 31st last year stood at 595 while 828 arm robbery cases were recorded in the same period in 2006, a decrease of 28.14%. Reported domestic cases saw a swift decline of 2028 in 2006 to 1234 in 2007 representing 37%.

Last year the Ghana Police Service adjudged the region as the most crime prone in the country.

ACP Seth Charles Oteng, the acting Ashanti Regional Police Commander who revealed this at a press briefing in Kumasi about the state of crime rate in the Ashanti Region, however expressed the police administration's happiness about the massive decline in robbery particularly mobile phone snatching in the metropolis. Cases of mobile phone snatching reduced by 64.1% last year.

According to him, the police service also made great strides in arresting some crime and robbery kingpins in the region like the killers of Mr. Samuel Best Annin, the regional chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association. The docket, he said has been forwarded to the Attorney General"s Department for prosecution.

The police in 2007 as part of efforts to promote sanity also arrested the killer of a Lebanese businessman here in Kumasi, the breaking and arrest of members of a high profile syndicate whose specialty was in car snatching, the arrest of the much talked about lone-ranger, Alfred Zeime who is credited with the murder of three persons in his robbery expedition and the commission of not less than 30 robberies in the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions.

The decline in the figures on the crime rate in the region, he mentioned were as a result of maximum corporation that the police enjoyed from the public as well as professionalism exhibited by the police service in the course of their duties.

He explained that, more police personnel were deployed to the various hot spots while more police check points were erected. Also foot and mobile patrols were enhanced both day and night.

Personnel were given regular deployment briefing to ensure that they did the right things on their beats and the supervisory role of senior officers was also increased. This according to him shouldered them to effect such operations.

He commended his men for showing professionalism in their service, assuring that the current success will not make them relent in their efforts but would rather encourage them to do more to further reduce crime to its barest minimum.

ACP Seth Charles Oteng declare that as Ghana 2008 tournament was just around the corner, his men shall marshal all the arsenals at their disposal to ensure that crime is effectively managed, before, during and after the event.

"Our resolve is to ensure that no criminal takes undue advantage of the number of people who will be coming from the other parts of the world to witness the event", he emphasized adding "criminals might rob people of their valuables in taxis and on their way to and from the stadium, some taxi drivers might hope to swindle persons as they may not be conversant with the new Ghana cedis".

The acting commander declared, "we are cautioning such ill-minded persons that we know their schemes and we are instituting measures to ensure that we meet them squarely, our operational machinery will be in full motion as soon as Officials, teams and supporters start arriving."

By Gabriel Amoah

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