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General News of Monday, 24 May 2021


Review gun licensing laws to tackle crimes – Akwada

Guns on display Guns on display

Executive Secretary of the Bureau of Public Safety, Nana Yaw Akwada, has called for a review of Ghana’s gun licensing laws.

This, he said, will contribute to reducing the proliferation of illicit arms in the country.

He told Dzifa Bampoh on the First Take on 3FM Monday, May 24, while commenting on the recent crimes that are occurring in the country, that gun crimes are increasing in the country, a situation that requires immediate action to retrieve illegal arms that are in the hands of persons who do not have the requisite permit to possess those firearms.

“I think that somehow the Police may be doing something good, however, we must also focus on how lethal or deadly a crime is getting now. They are even more deadly because whereas crime reduced by 8 per cent the associated deaths and injuries actually increased. Deaths increased by 14 per cent and injuries increased by 53 per cent, which is phenomenal.
“Juxtapose that against the fact that reported violent crimes that involved the use of guns also went up by 51 per cent from the 46 per cent that we were recording in 2019.

“So generally, it means that people are now reporting more to the use of guns in committing of violent crimes and so, it provides every motivation for anyone who is at the helm of affairs to be worried or be concerned so that we can change the status quo. We are looking at small arms proliferation, we are looking at tightening our gun licensing laws.”

A former Director-General of the Police Criminal Investigations Department, COP Bright Oduro Rtd, blamed the increasing crime rate on the failure to punish people who engage in criminal acts.

He told Dzifa Bampoh on the First Take that some people feel emboldened to commit crime because they believe they will not be arrested and punished.

He was commenting on the recent crime statistics given by Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery.

Mr Dery revealed that Ghana recorded 144 murder cases in the first quarter of 2021.

This, he said, is compared to 123 in the first quarter of 2020.

Assuring that this matter needs to be addressed, Mr Dery said at the National Police Command Conference at Senchi in the Eastern Region on Thursday, May 20, that “one loss of life in Ghana is one life too many.”

Regarding robbery cases, he said “there was a drop from 525 to 495 cases, when comparing the first quarters of 2020 and 2021 respectively”

He further assured that the government committed to ensuring that justice for all those who were killed during last year’s polls.

“The position of the government has been and remains as I talk to you today that all outstanding murder cases be investigated, completed and Prosecution undertaken, and I tell you with all seriousness. I do ask the Director-General of CID to give me a report every week and he does. Yes, all cases are going to be completed within a short period of time that we expect”.

The Interior Minister added “We have realized that the two cases that we think have not yet been sorted out have to do with the Suale’s murder which we are following and then also recent alleged violence by Security agencies is being investigated. Our own JB Danquah’s murder you do realize has taken a number of years to be resolved.

“Those are things that you will find when you are dealing with Criminals but one thing I want to assure all of you is that the government is committed to investigating every criminal offence to its logical conclusion. Take it from me we cannot be influenced by one way or the other”.

Asked whether he is alarmed at these statistics, COP Bright Oduro said “I will not be alarmed like any other civilian. I was in this kind of job for some time and we met some of these challenges during my time as well. But it looks like these violent crimes are becoming too much. I was listening to the Interior Minister’s statistics, the crimes that have happened in the past few months or so. It looks quite alarming but as I said I will not be alarmed.”

Asked what could be causing these crimes, he answered “People will be encouraged to commit crime because they are able to cover up. They are able to commit crime and then escape and then it will be difficult for the security especially the Police to find them and so people are being emboldened.

“Somebody thinks this guy had s to be eliminated, they go and eliminate that guy and he goes into hiding, he is not identified, he is not arrested and he is not prosecuted.

“So people plan to commit crime and once they know in the past somebody did it and was not arrested I can also go in and commit so people are being emboldened.”