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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Source: GNA

Assembly member clears Tema site two of criminals

Tema, July 15, (Ms Nunoo) GNA -- In a bid to correct the criminal image of his electoral area, Mr Alhassan Issah, Assembly Member for the Kwesi Plange electoral area in the Tema Metropolis on Sunday led a watchdog committee to arrest six drug peddlers. Tema Community one site two, in the electoral area, is known to be one of the havens for criminals including, armed robbers and drug addicts.

Armed robbers and mobile phone snatchers both operating in and around Tema metropolis gives the stolen items to narcotic sellers at site two in exchange of Indian hemp and heroin. Mr Issah told the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday that residents and visitors to Tema always shiver at the mention of Site two due to the activities of the criminals who operate there. He said it was unfortunate that even though 90 percent of these miscreants stay in other communities in the metropolis and use site two as their operating area, residents of site two are mostly perceived to be criminals.

He observed that to correct such wrong impressions, he gathered the youth and members of the Unit Committee, trained them in safety techniques for two months to prepare them towards ridding the area of criminals. The Assembly Member stated that on Sunday at about 0500 hours, he together with 20 members of the committee embarked on their first operation during, which the six were arrested, adding that, two were caught selling large quantities of dried leaves suspected to be Indian Hemp, while four were smoking the leaves. Tema Police Public Affairs Officer, Inspector Olivia Turkson, who confirmed the arrests, gave the names of the six as William Attiah, 28-year-old truck pusher, Yakubu Gingo, 33-year-old unemployed, Eric Owusu Ansah, 28-year-old scrap dealer. The others are Samuel Adenyo, 28-year-old trader, Amartey Patrick, 21-year-old driver's mate and Kofi Bueny, 48-year-old unemployed. Mr Issah pleaded for the support of the police and the courts, stating that while it is the responsibility of the police to protect watchdog committee members, it is also the duty of the courts to fast track cases involving such criminals to serve as a deterrent to the others. He said activities of the watchdog committee, which used to patrol the area collapsed due to threats issued against them by the criminals, as well as the frustrations members went through at the court when such miscreants were being prosecuted.