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General News of Thursday, 3 November 2011

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WANEP commends police on fight against crime

The West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP-Ghana), a peace building NGO has commended the Ghana Police Service for its efforts in fighting crime in the country which it said had led to the reduction in the incidents of violent crime.

It says the current operational strategy of dawn swoops by the police in an attempt to weed out criminals from their hideouts could largely account for the reduction in crime but urged the police to work towards addressing the structural causes of the conflict.

WANEP raised these concerns in its quarterly National Early Warning Alert, and signed by Mr. Justin Bayor, National Coordinator of WANEP-Ghana and made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Tuesday.

The report also captured armed robbery, movement of sophisticated arms and agro-pastoralist activities as some cases of threat to the security of the nation.

It called on the Government particularly the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and civil society to address unemployment, constraints in accessing higher education, corruption and other structural factors which, it said, pushed individuals to commit crimes adding that if such factors were addressed, the country could drastically reduce crime.

The NGO said its system among other things recorded 11 incidents of armed robbery between July and September nationwide this year, heightened circulation of sophisticated weapons and ammunitions and called on the security agencies and the Government to be more alert to forestall any escalation of violence.

It observed that tensions between agro-pastoralists in areas such as Asante- Akim North and the East and West Gonja still persisted and suggested that broad-based stakeholder discussions were needed to adopt strategies to address the situation.

It encouraged the police to continue with its efforts of implementing the National Community Policing System which it said would help curb highway and community crimes, and urged the police to widely publicize its emergency telephone numbers to make them accessible to people.

WANEP also encouraged continuous swoops by the police targeting robbery suspects and also targeting local manufacturers of arms, as well as illegal arms and ammunition dealers to prevent the proliferation of arms in the country.

It appealed to the Ghana Immigration Service and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, especially those at the borders, to be more vigilant to ward off criminals and reduce the influx of small arms and light weapons into the country.

"WANEP-Ghana also renews its call on Government, International Institutions and civil society groups to help increase the manpower and logistic capacity of the security services to enable them to respond to violence nationally", it added.

The NGO noted that with sponsorship from the Department for International Development (DFID) and Christian Aid, it had established the Early Warning Centre which was capable of tracking conflict and human security incidents across the country through various structures and tools.

It encouraged the general public to give information on any incidence of armed robbery, drug trafficking and arms movement through the following numbers: 080010029 (toll free with vodaphone); hotline - 0201131885 and SMS short code 1443.


Justin Bayor

National Network Coordinator


P. O. Box 963




00233264601070 (Mobile)