In the last 48 hours, the media has been awash with a report about the Police engaging in a swoop in a part of Accra, and arresting hordes of suspects.
The swoops were carried out at the Kotobabi Market and Addogonno Railways Crossing, both in the Krowor Municipality. They involved four Police teams, including personnel drawn from Accra Regional Operations, who supported men from the Accra Regional CID, under the supervision of the Baatsona Divisional Commander.
We are further told that three suspects, namely Joseph Kuadze, John Agbo and Gabriel Obu, were arrested with quantities of dried leaves suspected to be narcotic drugs – basic evidence, at least, that they are criminally-minded. .
The exhibits, according to the police, have been retained, with the suspects also detained to be processed for court while the rest are to be screened for further investigation.
The swoops followed a robbery attack on a bullion van carrying an unspecified amount of money that took place behind Danpong Hospital and in front of Harvest Christian Academy on the Spintex Road.
The attack, which was carried out by four persons, occurred on the afternoon of March 1, 2021, and saw a policeman being assaulted.
Taking the fight to the criminal
Armed robberies, before the 2020 electioneering campaign period, appeared to have almost overwhelmed us as a nation. The ultimate were attacks on parliamentary candidates across the divide, with one of them being killed in cold blood.
Similarly, we have ordinary citizens, tomato traders, ambulance and truck drivers coming under attacks, with some of the drivers mowed down by bullets from bandits. These are aside of other such crimes along the stretch into the Central Region from Accra, and bank robberies in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.
It appears that for some reasons known only to the robbers, the whole nation has become a toy in their hands for them to play with at random.
Since the kidnapping of the Takoradi girls and fallout of controversy-laden investigations, criminals with bases in Kasoa, Ashaiman and communities where these arrests were made have walked tall and acted with impunity – enabled by our poor regime of arms monitoring.
As we would admit, it has been worse along the Kintampo-Tamale stretch, with Fulani herdsmen suspected to be primary actors.
For our part as the media, we commend the Police for their efforts and hope that they will begin thorough investigations in establishing the true identity of the suspects and zoom into their rings and networking.
While a few of the arrested fellows could be misled, jobless innocent citizens, we believe the majority are culpable and would, at least, know who the criminal elements in their midst are.
More of those
The Police know better, than we do, that a swoop is the best way of smoking armed robbery suspects and other suspected criminals. In our estimation, this is because it is the same suspects who move into the bush at night to attack travellers and traders who, during daylight, pop up in the pubs and have fun when they should be on farms or factory floors or offices and shops plying a decent trade.
It is for this reason that we as civil society actors urge the Police to continue taking the fight to the criminals by such swoops in ensuring that we smoke them out and put them where they belong.
As we would all agree, our desire to improve our lives and livelihoods is meaningless if we continually face the threat of others holding us to ransom by putting a knife to our chests or gun to our heads after we have toiled all day, month, year, decade and lifetime to build something modest.