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21.10.2005 Press Review

Editorial: These gangsters must be stopped!

By Chronicle
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The spate of crime in the cities is getting alarming, with criminals adopting new tactics to beat the system. Within the last few years, the use of second-hand motorbikes has become very common in our cities, particularly among the youth.

Even though the motor traffic rules of this country require that these motorbikes are licensed and registered, most of them are without registration numbers, indicating they are unregistered.

The riders' ignorance of road traffic rules is demonstrated by the way these bikes are ridden all over our cities. It is very common to see young men and even boys, riding these bikes, facing on-coming traffic.

The danger posed to, not only the riders but also other road users, is very clear. As if that is not enough these unregistered motorbikes have fast become the vehicles for thieves, who are going about snatching pedestrians' bags, mobile phones and other valuables.

During the 2000 elections, some of these riders were in a convoy, causing mischief in some constituencies and thereby heightening tension.

Again, in the run-up to the bye-election in the Odododiodoo Constituency of the Greater Accra Region, some of these riders went on rampage, vandalizing vehicles and even assaulting people.

The fight against even the old forms of crime has not been won yet. Therefore, we expect that the security agencies would take very proactive measures to stem this new form, before it assumes unacceptable limits.

To help deal with this problem, it should be possible to place part of the responsibility on the retailers of these motorbikes.

Members of the public ought to know that the police cannot be everywhere and therefore it is incumbent on them to expose those engaged in these nefarious activities within their communities, to enable the law catch up with them.

This is very important because those we see today engaged in what some may consider as petty stealing, would grow bolder by the day and soon mature to become armed robbers, terrorizing everybody.

There is the need also for the police to be providing members of the public with information on new trends in the crime wave, as a means of sounding the alarm bells, to enable them be on guard, thereby preventing these unscrupulous deviants in the society from having a field day.

There is also a high incidence of taxi-gang, who, after robbing unsuspecting passengers under threat, let them off, at times pushing them out even as their vehicles are in motion.

Too many of our people do not report crimes to the police. It is important that the police also step up their education of the public on the need to report crimes, to enable them know the trends so as to devise appropriate means of combating them.

The Chronicle believes that with a closer police-public collaboration, these gangsters can be stopped; and they must be stopped!

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