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Regional News of Friday, 18 February 2005

Source: GNA

Okpoi Gonno residents provide police with vehicle for security patrol

Accra, Feb 18, GNA - Nana Owusu Nsiah, Inspector General of Police on Friday urged individual communities to take proactive measures to support the police in the war against crime.

He said day and night patrol in some rapidly developing areas was becoming skeletal giving room to criminals to strike at the least opportunity.

Nana Owusu Nsiah said this when residents of Okpoi Gonno, a suburb of Accra presented an Opel Astra, valued at 38 million cedis to the police to assist in security operations in the community. He also cut the sod for the construction of a police station at Okpoi Gonno.

The Residents Association of Okpoi Gonno had approached the police in February this year for assistance with police patrol team in the community as armed robbers were harassing them in recent times. Eleven houses had been attacked and properties worth millions of cedis stolen.

The IGP said, although government had supported the police with a sizeable number of vehicles, the large territorial landmass of the country, rapid population growth and the springing up of new residential areas had stretched the resources, including vehicles to the hilt.

He said the donation was a clear testimony of the community's commitment to assist the police to vigorously smoke out criminals from the area and the nation, adding that, the vehicle would be sprayed in police colours with the inscription,

"Okpoi-Gonno Police Patrol Team" and located at the resident for both day and night patrols.

He appealed to all peace loving citizens to be observant and report suspicious characters to the police for close monitoring and urged other communities to emulate them to supplement government's efforts.

He said several appeals had been made to estate developers and planners of residential areas to factor in their plan sites for police stations.

Mrs. Lydia Quarshie, Kpeshie Divisional Commander said the police had resolved to thwart the efforts of criminals, adding, "we are committed to hunting and haunting them, thereby making life uncomfortable for them, the police will not rest on their oars till armed robbery was dealt a deadly blow."

"It is an indisputable fact that criminals, especially armed robbers are making life of the good people of this country miserable, they come at you ready to dispossess you of your property and sometimes take your life without any cause, consequently wealthy people live in constant fear of the activities of these criminals."

Timothy Ladzekpo, Chairman of the association said residents who were living in constant fear, as they did not know when the criminals would strike decided to make contribution of 500,000 cedis per household to buy the vehicle for the police.

He said community had teamed up with the police because they knew that national policies, however suitable could not solve crime problems if they were developed in isolation from the local efforts or initiatives.

Mr. Ladzekpo said he was the tenth person whose house was attacked by the armed robbers in February this year, adding that the victims were brutalized and in some cases shamefully striped naked.