The Ashanti Regional Police Command is scheduled to inaugurate an anti-armed robbery team on Monday in a latest move by the Police to counteract the activities of armed robbers in the region.
The unit is setting up of the unit, which will be under the leadership of DCOP Kofi Boakye, was has been triggered by the recent incidents of robbery in the Kumasi and its surrounding areas which has resulted in the death of two people.
“Because of the nature of robberies… we have set up Anti-Armed Robbery squad, picking men from all the districts [of the region]; capable men who can actually shoot, not policemen who cannot shoot,” Regional Commander DCOP Kofi Boakye told TV3’s William Evans-Nkum.
He was however quick to add that engaging ‘capable men who can shoot’ does not mean the unit is going to engage in “shoot and kill”, adding “but the weapons are supposed to be shot so don’t worry”.
Parts of the region, particularly Kumasi, have come under attacks from a gang of suspected armed robbers. Last Thursday, a policeman was shot and killed by robbers at the Open Space Hotel in Dechemouso. One other person survived gunshots wounds in the attack.
On Saturday, one person was also shot dead at Ahenema Kokoben when he was attacked in what is suspected to be yet another armed robbery incident, which the police say is becoming one too many in the regional capital.
The development prompted an emergency REGSEC meeting Monday morning at which the security officials discussed the current situation and strategize to bring it under control.
“For those who think maybe we talk, we need to talk, we need to do more press conferences to sensitise the public, the police itself and put the fear of God in the armed robbers in order to have peace,” DCOP Kofi Boakye told our correspondent.
He said although statistics have shown that robbery has gone down in the region, they suspect an emergence of a new group of robbers, saying “We know they are three o four who have been terrorizing people in the outskirts of Kumasi.
“I must say that robbery at anytime is a challenge which we as police and the security agencies must confront and defeat,” he said.
Currently, a group of police personnel from the Ghana Police Headquarters have arrived in Kumasi to augment officers in the region to bring violent crimes down.
Touching on the issue of the Policeman who was shot dead last Thursday, he said he does not suspect “target killing” noting that the officer was “at the wrong place at the wrong time”.
DCOP Boakye revealed the officer had called in sick and was not supposed to be on duty or even in uniform, saying he “was supposed to be out of duty. It was not as if he was on duty and people went to shoot him. Whether a policeman is killed or a civilian is killed it’s the same thing; human being has been killed.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Andy Okra who chaired the REGSEC meeting told TV3’s Evans-Nkum that security has been tightened in the region and that they were working to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.
” We’re still enjoying peace in this region, we believe that we can continue to enjoy that so nobody should panic. They’re on top to protect everyone in the region,” he told our correspondent.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana