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15.04.2008 Crime & Punishment

Police Urge Victims To Help Identify Crime Suspects

By GNA - newtimesonline.com

TO enable the police to get enough evidence for the prosecution of suspected criminals, victims of armed robberies have been called upon not to shirk their responsibility of identifying perpetrators when they are arrested.

Superintendent of Police, Frank Awu, Ashaiman District Police Commander, who made the call last Wednesday said most victims after reporting their ordeal to the police do not turn up for identification of criminals for fear of being victimised by members of the syndicate.

Superintendent Awu told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that such behaviour delays prosecution, adding that, even when they are taken to court, they are discharged for lack of evidence and want of prosecution by complainants.

Assuring victims of police protection, he said the police would do their best to ensure that informants were properly protected while criminals were punished according to the law.

Citing an example of such cases, the Ashaiman district commander said his outfit currently has in its custody Himbu Mohammed, a 32-year-old native of Mali who has a number of complaints against him.

He said Mohammed had been arrested several times and released because nobody was willing to identify him as the perpetrator of a particular crime, even though residents always complain about his criminal activities anytime he was freed.

Superintendent Awu said 'Mohammed has terrorised the people so much so that they even fear his shadow.'

The commander stated that Mohammed was among 13 suspected criminals arrested on April 2, at about 4 p.m. during a police swoop at ‘I shall return’, a drinking spot near the Ashaiman lorry park.

He said the suspects aged between 18 and 35 were arrested smoking dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp adding that they would be screened and arraigned before court.

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