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27.07.2005 Crime & Punishment

Establish special court to deal with narcotic cases - Crime Officer

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Tamale, July 27, GNA - Superintendent John Frederick Wilson, Northern Regional Crime Officer has suggested the establishment of a special court to deal with narcotic cases in the country.

He said time should be allotted for the trial of persons involved in narcotics to avoid the unnecessary delays in prosecuting narcotic cases. Superintendent Wilson made the suggestion at the Northern Region Drug Abuse Day celebration in Tamale on Wednesday.

The forum was organised for health workers to educate them about the dangers of drug abuse and subsequent effects on the lives of the people and the national economy to enable them to also educate people in the rural communities.

Superintendent Wilson noted that at present, the Attorney General Department has to consent to the prosecution of every narcotic case in the country and this is disturbing the quick trial of narcotic cases. The Crime Officer therefore, appealed to the government to consider either employing more qualified personnel for the department or allow police officers to prosecute narcotic cases. Superintendent Wilson noted that the unnecessary delays and adjournments had contributed to some witnesses not being able to be traced to give evidence in court, making it difficult for such cases to be tried.

He said drug investigators who fail to bring their witnesses to court for unknown reasons also caused some of the delays. The crime officer said information on drugs activities were hard to come by since such information was always offered on sale. He said: "The police service is not sufficiently resourced financially to offer money to informants to volunteer the necessary information".

"The unemployment situation has also worsened the problem, as drug barons capitalize on the situation to recruit the youth for the sale of narcotics on commission basis."

Superintendent Wilson advised the youth to say no to drugs and should not allow people to deceive them into drug trafficking since the laws would deal with them if caught.