12.07.2005 General News

1.4 billion cedis realize from licensing of weapons

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Tamale, July 12, GNA - The Ghana Police Service last year realized about 1.4 billion cedis from the renewal and licensing of weapons in the country.

Mr Aboagye Nyarko, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and currently attached to the administrative office of the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms (GNCSA), said this at a press briefing in Tamale prior to the launch of the "Awareness Raising Campaign on Small Arms and Light Weapons" on Saturday.

The forum was to provide the opportunity for members of the GNCSA, the police and media practitioners to interact and share ideas on how to combat the proliferation of small arms in the country.

Mr Aboagye Nyarko reminded people possessing arms on the need to renew their licenses yearly and also warned that it was an offence to sell weapons bequeathed to one without informing the police. He urged the public to cooperate with the police by giving them reliable information that would lead to the arrest of people illegally engaged in the manufacturing and sale of weapons.

Mr Aboagye Nyarko said the police would soon be carrying out special cordon and search operations to retrieve illegal weapons and destroy them.

Mr Fred H. K. Ampiah, a Resource Mobilization Analyst of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said the organization would provide the Police Service with logistics and computers to enable it keep up to date and accurate data on the registration of weapons and their licensing.

He said such information would enable the police to easily track down people who refuse to renew their licenses and also trace the source from which they acquired the weapons.

Mr Ampiah called on journalists to join hands with other stakeholders to educate the public on the dangers of small arms and light weapons by using their medium to constantly draw the attention of society to the negative effects of small arms.

He urged the media to be circumspect in their reportage in conflict situations since the slightest mistake could be misinterpreted to make worse an already volatile situation.

"There is the need for you to cross, re-cross and check your facts before coming out with your story", Mr Ampiah said.

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