General News of Thursday, 8 September 2005
Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - The Greater Accra Regional Police Command on Thursday registered its anguish at the return of hawkers on to the streets of Central Business District of Accra, saying it provided a recipe for the snatching of cell phones.
Answering questions from journalists on what the Police was doing to stop the menace of snatching of cell phones in the city, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Douglas Akrofi Asiedu said the return of the hawkers created crowds, which facilitated the activities of cell phone snatchers.
"This (return of the hawkers) is not helping us in anyway and it cannot happen in any advanced country. However, we are trying to do our best," ACP Asiedu said.
The conference, which was convened to brief the press on the robbery situation in Accra, had earlier touched on robberies in residential areas at night, car snatching and street robbery. ACP Asiedu said snatching of cell phones and bags were forms of street robbery, which occurred at built-up areas such as the High Street, James Town, Abeka Lapaz, Kaneshie First Light, Nima, New Town and Pig Farm during rush hours.
He advised motorists to roll up the windows of their cars and lock up their doors to prevent criminals, who might pretend to be concerned about non-existent faults developed by their vehicles, to distract their attention.
The Regional Commander said people should not also display cell phones or other valuable items during the rush hours. He announced that three people had been arrested, with one of them positively identified as being connected with the attack on Abdul Karim Zito, Coach of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club, whose left wrist was nearly chopped off by his assailants, who snatched his cell phone. The Regional Police Commander entreated members of the public to report any suspicious persons offering cell phones, chains, wristwatches and laptop computers for sale.
He announced that the Police Emergency Number 191 had been reactivated to receive information from the public. He, however, warned against its misuse, since that would deflate Police action.