Crime & Punishment of 2014-04-22

More ‘okadas’ impounded

The Accra Regional Police Command Monday impounded 875 motorbikes in a second exercise as part of an operation to curb the use of motorbikes for criminal activities.

The exercise started simultaneously in all the seven divisions under the command about 10 a.m., with policemen stationed at vantage points.

Owners of motorbikes who were riding them without protective helmets, licences, road worthy certificates and valid insurance policies were stopped and the motorbikes impounded.

Others who were riding unregistered motorbikes or using the bikes for commercial purposes also had their bikes taken from them.

Motorbikes used for robbery

The Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Christian Tetteh Yohonu, said statistics available to the police indicated that more than 60 per cent of robberies were committed with motorbikes.

“We want to sustain this operation. We will embark on another exercise in the night to make sure that Accra becomes safe for all residents,” he said.

Mr Yohonu explained that motorbikes were increasingly being used for criminal activities because they were a faster means of transportation, saying,“When we take the motorbikes, we succeed in disabling the criminals, as the motorbikes are the faster legs for them.”

He urged motor riders to strictly obey traffic regulations and always use safety gadgets such as helmets and reflective jackets.

Breakdown of arrests

At the Nima Division, 234 motorbikes had been impounded, while at the Ministries Division 65 bikes had been seized as of 2 p.m. yesterday.

The Nima District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ms Felicia Ayesu, whose men had impounded 72 motorbikes as of the time the Regional Police Commander and his team arrived at the station, said the indecent use of motorbikes had resulted in fatal accidents.

She said the police were suspicious of some of the number plates on some of the motorbikes and would, therefore, forward the numbers to the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) for verification.

The Kpeshie Division confiscated 109 motorbikes, while the Kaneshie Division had 100 motorbikes in its possession.

At the Tesano Division, 134 motorbikes were impounded, with the Dansoman Division also taking over 90 bikes from their owners.

The Madina Division also confiscated 78 motorbikes.

Incidents

During the course of the operations, a Pastor of the Lifeway Evangelistic Chapel at Bubuashie in Accra, Pastor John Raper, was reported to have fallen from his motorbike when he saw the police approaching him at the Nima traffic light.

He has since been hospitalised at the Police Hospital.

Car snatching

In a related incident, the police hinted that about 3:30 p.m. on April 20, 2014, one Mr Alex Dzimado was attacked by two men on motorbikes who had attempted to snatch his car from him in front of his house at Afienya Ablekuma.

He was hit on the head with the butt of a pistol but managed to raise an alarm. The robbers attempted to flee on the motorbike but a Good Samaritan chased them with a car and knocked them off the bike.

One of the two attackers on the bike was arrested.

He was identified as Mike Narh, alias Nat, and had a locally manufactured pistol in hand.

He was sent to the EMEFS Police Station near the Michael Camp.