Residents in Bolgatanga in the Upper East are living in fear as armed robbers, motor snatches and thieves have invaded the Municipality and terrorizing the residents with their activities.
The residents claim the police were showing little concern and watching the criminals engage in their activities and go unpunished.
Apart from the Chieftaincy clashes in the Municipality making residents suspicious of each other the increasing massive robberies and motorbike thefts have compounded the fear in the residents.
The Municipality daily recorded at least two motorbike thefts on the average, while robbing at gun point and snatching of ladies bags, mobile phones and other belongings have also become rampant.
Some residents the Ghana News Agency (GNA) spoke to said they had lost hope in the Police Service because they were not doing anything concrete to protect persons and property.
On August 16, at about 2000hours, a first year student of the Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School, Miss Florence Nsobilla was shot in the left leg at Zaare, a suburb in the Municipality and is currently on admission at the Regional Hospital.
During the attack, her bag containing phones and other belongings were stolen from her.
Mr Musah Sumaila, a resident of Soe told the GNA that his motorbike with registration number (withheld) was stolen from his residence less than 20 minutes after he had packed it to pick something from his room.
“Few days earlier, a Honda Motorbike belonging to my co-tenant was stolen from the same premises. Lives are becoming endangered in Bolgatanga” he added.
He noted that the irony is that some of the affected persons sometimes arrange and get their motorbikes back through middlemen who only make calls to faceless persons and charge for the service.
Mr Foster Atumolga, a teacher, who has lost two motorbikes in the past bemoaned the activities of the police in the Municipality alleged that “the police officers are aware of the individuals involved in these nefarious acts, because they arrest some, take them to court but they bribed their ways out”.
According to some of the residents who pleaded to remain anonymous, they had used middlemen who were police officers to retrieve their motorbikes and called on the police administration to bring in police officers from different regions for surprise swoops on the hideouts of these criminals.
“The Regional Police Command must undertake such operations without hinting their men here in Bolga because the Bolga Police cannot be trusted".
Some of the interviewees attributed the recent thievery activities to the ban on the Galamsey activities adding that armed robbery has become an alternative livelihood for them and called on government to deploy Military Officers to beef up security in the area.
Mr Issahaku Abdul Rahaman a trader said “a rider snatched my mobile phone while I was riding. The speed with which they moved was so serious that I could not chase them, and my shouts could not draw the attention of members of the public close by. Thieves broke into a house am constructing and collected almost everything useable away. My louver blades, louver frames, electric fittings and some working tools were carried away”.
According to the victim, he did not report the matter to the police because, “it is useless reporting to them, they cannot get the things for me and they will keep tossing me up and down, so I don’t want to waste my time for nothing”.
The residents therefore called on the powers that be, including the Municipal Security Council to find antidotes to the phenomenon.
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