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The war over armed robbery; what is it that the police are doing right?

Gh Police Logo 11 Crime is a natural societal phenomenon that can only be extinguished when the last man dies

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 Source: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III

Looks to me like the police are winning the war over the rampant, incessant and unexpected strikes of armed robbers in these few days. It seems the police have stepped up their game to put these armed robbers out of job due to improvements in their recent operational strategies which seem to have been yielding positive results and that is very commendable.

Even the almost weekly Kintampo - Takyiman highway and residential robberies in Accra and its environs seem to have been submerged drastically. Generally, the robbery situation in the country is going down and we need to give our police thumbs up. The nefarious activities of these unscrupulous criminals are gradually being kept at the base by the police and that is so relieving for both the police and the citizenry.

Crime is a natural societal phenomenon that can only be extinguished when the last man dies. We all have criminal tendencies in us as human beings because we are in a world that evil conflict with good. Every human being has the potencies of committing crime at any point in time because the human mind is the center of all conflicts between good and evil. Every crime problem you see in this world from petty stealing to organised ones like robbery and terrorism originated from the minds of people and as a result of this, crime will be with us till the kingdom comes.

No criminology theory propounded ever has justified the complete eradication of crime but all seem to have affirmed that with improved law enforcement structures coupled the right psychological and sociological orientations, crime can be brought to almost a near halt so it is not about the police alone. Society has a stake and a huge role to play to make our communities safer and better when it comes to crime combat. The police is just the face of law enforcements strangled with logistical constraints impeding their deliveries as far as crime combat particularly robbery is concerned. They need the support of the public to complement their efforts.

The police cannot completely uproot crime but the best they can do is to bring it to its best barest minimum with the support of the public because crime combat is a shared responsibility with defining roles for all stakeholders. It should be a partnership between the general public and the police but often times the police are left in isolation because crime combat is perceived to be the paid job of the police. That thinking is totally erroneous and needs to be corrected.

Until you are attacked by armed robbers, you will never understand the kind of psychological trauma and the pains victims of armed robbery go through. Women who have been attacked and raped by armed robbers live with flashes of scenes and images of this horrible acts for the rest of their lives so it is very instructive to complement the police to prevent the commission of robberies and that will only happen when society become the eyes and ears of the police.

What is it that Mr. David Asante Appeatu and his men are doing right this time that seems to give them the urge over armed robbery? They should continue in that manner without a stop.

They deserve a pat on their shoulders in times like these particularly their patrol teams which seem to have improved their emergency response time rates. To dedicate your life to fight robbery and other violent crimes should be greeted with loud applauds from the general public but often times, it is not the case. The public particularly the media is interested in highlighting the social wrongs of the police which is a nationwide canker and very unique with every organisation based on the challenges confronting them.

In recent times we seemed to have been spared with constant news of armed robbery flooding our media landscape with photos of gory scenes of victims of robbery, armed robbers and sometimes police officers who have died through the guns of either the police or the armed robbers.

The police have employed more proactive and strategic methods of operations compared to their traditional and reactive methods where armed robbers strike, rob their victims of their properties, valuables, sometimes rape and kill their victims before one could hear the deafening sirens of the police from afar rushing to the scenes after these unscrupulous criminals are long gone. The police then launch man hunt for these criminals with ransoms placed on their heads and a lot of man hours as well as state resources are wasted in attempts to have them arrested.

Even the police themselves have not been spared when these armed robbers strike as it seemed that police officers were losing their lives on daily as far as robbery combat is concerned. We do not want remind ourselves with the Tema incidence that claimed Constable Michael Kporyi, the Takyiman one that claimed Lance Corporal Robert Ackah and the Lapaz one that claimed Constable Daniel Owusu. The police stand the chance of benefiting more if the police are able to bring armed robbery under control. More police officers will live.

This should send strong signals that proactive policing is cheaper and life-saving than the reactive type which is a waste of state resources and human lives including police lives as well as properties and valuables the general public.

Crime is not committed by stupid, foolish or dumb people. It is committed by human beings who sometimes have extra human senses with a high sense of reasoning. They study trends and do the analysis before striking finally. To curb this, the police all over the world review their methods and strategies of operations just to be ahead of these miscreants called criminals particularly armed robbers and that is what our police seem to have done. Reviewing of operational strategies is the key to crime problems which have taken dimensional trends.

Kudos to our police so far but what matters most is for us to sustain the fight. It's winnable.

Columnist: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III