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08.09.2005 Crime & Punishment

Police smoking out robbers

GNA

Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - The Greater Accra Regional Police Command has advised residents of Accra to mount constant surveillance on suspicious characters, form community watch committees, and inform the Police to check crime, especially armed robbery.

Consequently, the Police has reactivated its emergency number 191 for information, but warned that misuse of the number to raise false alarms would deflate Police action.

It has also advised taxi drivers, especially those operating to and from Kwame Nkrumah Circle to be cautious, observant and extra vigilant about people they picked in the night and should avoid picking young males between the ages of 18 and 26 who might be in groups of two or more requiring to be transported to remote and quiet areas. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr Douglas Akrofi Asiedu, at a press briefing on the crime situation in Accra on Thursday said taxis were the most vulnerable in the crime of car snatching, and some of the cabs, used in committing crimes were later abandoned. Flashpoints for cab snatching included Alliance Francaise and Opeibea House areas, both close to the Airport Residential Area, Gbawe; and generally remote areas.

Mr Asiedu said taxi drivers must also avoid picking up other young males on the way at the instance of their male young passengers who had earlier been picked up because such people would have been acting together.

The Regional Police Commander said the most serious of robberies were occurring in the residential areas mostly in the night after 12 with the use of weapons such as locally made pistols, cutlasses, knives; and break in instruments.

Residential robberies occurring mostly in the night constitute the most serious of robberies in the Accra metropolis.

Areas that had been victims of night residential robberies included Ashongman, Madina, Taifa, Frafraha, and developing residential areas along the Accra Dodowa Road; Batsona, Sampa Valley, Sowutuom, Anyaa, Weija, Aplaku, Bortianor, Dunkona, Ashalley Botwe and Nmaadjor. ACP Asiedu mentioned the snatching of mobile phones as another area of concern, and announced that since he took office on May 20, 2005, 26 suspects of robbery and other related crimes had been arrested and remanded in custody.

"Two of the notorious suspects of robbery on Police Wanted List, Oman Musa, alias Azege and Baba Salla, alias Rasta have been arrested. "Another notorious robber, popularly known as "Wounded Lion" was wounded on 26 August 2005, and died on the way to Police Hospital." ACP Asiedu gave credit to the patrolmen, staff at the Information Room, Detectives and Divisional, District and Unit Officers and Informants, and announced that the Command was working hard to arrest three groups of armed robbers it had identified.

The Regional Commander asked the public to give information to the Police, with an assurance that it would protect the identity of informants.

He cautioned all communities in Accra to be extra alert, saying areas not labelled as flashpoints could be attacked if security and safety precautions were not made.

He announced the Regional Police command and the Police Public Affairs Unit would embark on full-scale crime prevention education in school and institutions of learning, religious groups, market places, among other places, where people gathered.

ACP Asiedu stressed the need for proper numbering of houses and the provision of incandescent lights as some of the measures to check crime or make crime prevention easier.

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