.... Nationwide Patrols Begin AAccra, Jan 31 (Graphic) -- Total of 150 criminals were arrested in and around the Accra metropolis and the Tema municipality in 2004. Deaths resulting from armed robbery reduced from 11 to six in the same year. This, according to the police, was an impressive effort in the protection of human lives through the arrest of hardened criminals. The Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police David Asante-Apeatu said the collaborative effort with Ghana's neighbours was one major contributing factor in the successful fight against armed robbery. He was speaking at the CID's end-of-year awards and get-together, during which Detective Inspector Ebo Frown of the Kwesimintsim Police was adjudged the best national detective. According to Mr Asante-Apeatu, 14,049 fraud cases were reported as against the 14,657 cases registered in 2003. The decrease,he said,was the result of intensive and unrelenting awareness creation. With regard to complaints, Mr Asante-Apeatu said a total of 225,341 complaints were received in 2004,out of which 217,091 were registered as true cases and the remaining 8,250 refused on grounds of being false,trivial or civil in nature and,warranted no police attention. The department also undertook the expansion, renovation and refurbishment of its cells and also procured a Toyota Hiace van and body bags complete with protective kit for investigators to facilitate the work of the Crime Scene Management team. Additionally, he said 20 vehicles were also purchased to augment the department's fleet to enhance investigative activities. Mr Asante-Apeatu said an Archview software in Geographical Information System was also procured and employed to enhance crime detection,investigation and analysis, while five computers specially designed for processing crime scenes and for criminal record keeping were also donated to the department by the Ghana High Commission in London.
He said a Visa and Document Unit established in response to the increasing cases of visa racketeering, helped to reduce the canker drastically.The director said the department required resources to rehabilitate the deteriorating state of the Detective Training School,as well as equip the Forensic Science Laboratory for crime detection and investigation.
The Inspector General of Police(IGP), Nana Owusu-Nsiah, noted that the CID had,over the years, produced very competent detectives who measured up to international standards.
“We have pitted our wits against investigators of other nations during United Nations Peace Keeping Missions and our investigators have often excelled, ”he stated.
He, however, said that their capabilities were often overshadowed by inadequate logistical support,stressing that “this is becoming more conspicuous as we have entered the era of information technology”.
According to the IGP, in this era of complex scientific crime,the use of computers,discreet listening devices, surveillance cameras and other handy communication equipment was a basic necessity in the investigation of crime.
Nana Owusu-Nsiah said successful investigation often depended on the inflow of reliable information but, unfortunately the majority of Ghanaians,by nature,did not often volunteer information on crime. He said the few who were prepared to do so demanded monetary rewards and often insisted on contacting particular detectives.
The IGP said most detectives did not,however,receive informants'allowances and, therefore,were incapable of maintaining any informants. Nationwide Patrols Begin The security agencies at the weekend began nation wide patrols as part of efforts to combat armed robbery and other criminal activities that are on the ascendancy.
Highway patrols have also been intensified.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye,the Accra Regional Police Commander,who disclosed this in an interview, said the Accra Regional Police Command had deployed 300 personnel, who had been augmented by 80 personnel from the Ghana Armed Forces.
The number of personnel on foot patrols,he said,would be increased by the weekend.“We want to assure Ghanaians that the security agencies are ready to combat crime and we need their support,” he stated.In addition, the security agencies had introduced foot patrols in the communities to make them visible and accessible to members of the public.
They would, henceforth, also mount barriers within the communities.He said all Regional Security Councils (REGSEC) were to take part in the exercise and support the security personnel with the requisite logistics.These measures form part of decisions taken at an emergency National Security Council meeting last week in the wake of the upsurge in armed robbery and car snatching incidents in the country.
As of January 24, 2005,30 armed robbery cases had been recorded as against five in the whole of December 2004.
Four cars were reportedly snatched from their owners at Dansoman,a suburb of Accra,last week.Mr Boakye said security operations were expensive and appealed to the public to provide maximum support to make the exercise successful.
He asked each community to provide 10 men to support the police in the erection of barriers within the communities. He said the names of the nominated people should be sent to the police.He also said any resident association which could provide a vehicle or any assistance for the night patrols should kindly contact the Accra Regional Police Command.
According to him, a vehicle provided by any resident association would be tagged,so that people in the area would know it.Mr Boakye appealed to owners of garages to desist from spraying vehicles sent to them without authorising letters from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) or the police.
He said any garage owner who would be caught spraying any vehicle without authorisation would be dealt with.
He appealed to residents of Chorkor, Flamingo, Russia and Nima,all suburbs of Accra, to support the police in the exercise by reporting people who surfaced with new cars in those communities.