18.05.2005 Crime & Punishment

Don't grant bail to armed robbers - Brig-Gen Agyemfra

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Tema, May 18, GNA - A Security Consultant, Brigadier-General Francis Agyemfra, has called for the review of the country's laws to enable magistrates and judges to deny bail to armed robbers. He held that the imposition of life sentences on armed robbers and other hardened criminals would incapacitate them.

In a statement on the current spate of armed robbery in the country, released to the GNA at Tema on Wednesday, Brig. Agyemfra said there was a sharp rise in armed robbery and drug trafficking in the country, a situation he blamed partly on the granting of bail and early release of the offenders by the courts.

"Oftentimes armed robbers and other dangerous offenders are not given sentences that match the severity of their offences and sometimes some of them are just committed to prison custody without trial for a few years and then released," he said.

Brig. Agyemfra called for the establishment of more fast track courts to deal swiftly with dangerous criminals. The country's education policy should also place greater emphasis on the dangers of drugs in schools, he added.

He said in spite of the good work being done by the security agencies, the armed robbery menace would be eliminated if the issue of administration of justice, the proliferation of guns, illegal drugs, and the influx of refugees some of whom are hardened criminals, were not addressed promptly.

He urged the traditional authorities, religious leaders, the media and all identifiable groups to get involved in the war against armed robbery and take a leading role in educating the public on the need to be vigilant and to provide the Police with information on the activities of criminals.

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