Accra, Jan. 13, GNA - Crime rate in the Greater Accra Region is on the decline but reported cases of vehicle theft are slightly higher, the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander said on Tuesday. Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, Greater Accra Regional Commander, noted that while 29,951 crime cases were reported in 2007, it declined to 17,401 in 2008.
The Police crime chart for 2008 showed that stealing had the highest slot of 13,263, with fraud cases of 3,823 taking the second position. Robbery, mainly street, car, residential and work place stood at 304 while 11 murder cases were recorded. In 2007, 325 robbery and 61 murder cases were recorded.
DCOP Oppong-Boanuh noted that while 2007 recorded 146 vehicle thefts, 2008 had 131 adding that though there was a reduction in figures, the frequency of reported cases made it a problem. He recalled that while the police had been able to retrieve some of these stolen vehicles, "we have not been able to identify the whereabouts of others".
The Greater Accra Police Commander noted that most of the victims of those car thefts were robbed at gun point. He attributed the reduction in crime to the effective role the public played in giving out information, the massive support from the military as well as the boost in the fleet of vehicles offered to the Police. According to him, the Police in their joint operations with the military covered 25 zones for night patrols but with the boost in the fleet of vehicles, the Police had increased the number to 35. Though the Regional Commander could not give the number of suspects in police custody, he said most of them were now being tried in courts. Some of the items retrieved from those alleged robbers include locally manufactured guns, foreign pistols, ammunitions and mobile phones. He noted that most of the robbers were in syndicates, bore three names and carried out their nefarious acts by wearing masks under the cover of darkness.
"Most of these robbers have been identified by their victims," DCOP Oppong-Boanuh added.
On the car theft, the Regional Police Commander advised the public especially car owners to investigate the background of drivers before handing over their vehicles to them since some of those drivers connived with robbers to carry out their acts and later abandoned the cars. "Some of these drivers who do not want to declare their sales for the day, abandon the car somewhere and report to their owners that they have been robbed," he added.
DCOP Oppong-Boanuh urged drivers to be wary of the kind of people they offered "lifts" and suspicious characters who loitered around their vicinity.
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