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24.11.2005 Crime & Punishment

Crime reporting is a civic responsibility- Police official

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Cape Coast, Nov 24, GNA- The Deputy Director of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, ASP Kwasi Ofori, on Thursday, stressed the need for all Ghanaians to regard reporting the activities of criminals as a "part and parcel" of their civic responsibilities, in order to enhance security in the society. He observed that for years, "crime reporting had been a problem" and stressed that such reports, if made to the appropriate authorities, solicited the requisite responses and precautionary measures and helped to eliminate fear among the populace.

Mr Ofori made the call at a forum organised by the police administration in conjunction with the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the UCC to sensitise the students on basic safety precautions and other measures to combat crime.

The forum, is the first in a series being planned by the police administration, for all university campuses, following the recent spate of reported murder, rapes and phone snatching on the UCC campus.

Mr Ofori, stressed the determination of the police administration "to be customer-oriented and friendly", for effective cooperation from the public, for the requisite security measures to be taken. He, in this regard, urged the students to take advantage of the police post established on the campus, to report crimes committed there for enhanced security measures.

According to him, this is imperative, because the Central Regional police command did not have any of the reported crimes on their records because the affected students had failed to make reports to the police and pointed out that the police "did not have a magic wand", and could only combat crime effectively with support from the public. He tasked the UCC authorities, to ensure that commercial vehicles operating on the campus are provided with stickers and the particulars of the drivers documented for easy detection of crime. The ASP, also suggested other security measures the students could adopt to enhance both the work of the police and the UCC's security unit, such as the formation of monitoring groups. He also encouraged them to always endeavour to carry their ID cards and echoed earlier calls on the need for them to strictly observe basic personal safety precautions and hinted plans by the police administration to install voice-mail boxes on the campuses to alert the police.

For his part, the regional crime officer, Mr Vincent Dedjoe, re-assured the students of measures being taken to ensure their safety. Mr Jeff Onyame, the PRO of the UCC, pledged the university's determination to intensify education on safety measures to enhance the well being of all students.

The SRC president Mr Musah Tahiru was hopeful that the present joint police cum UCC security measures would not be relaxed when it is felt that the danger on campus was over.

He also expressed concern about the fact that some lecturers fixed lectures and quiz periods for as early as 0530, and said it impinged on the safety of students.

Some of the issues the students raised during an open forum included the cumbersome procedures one had to go through to lodge a complaint or make a report to the police.

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