It appears, the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akufo Dampare, will have to up his game and go beyond the rhetoric, following a wave of daylight robberies in parts of Accra caught on videos that have gone viral in both social and mainstream media, creating a huge sense of insecurity.
The last two weeks, had seen some residents of Accra attacked by men on motorbikes who were heavily armed with sophisticated weapons, who snatched huge sums of money.
Not too long ago, Dr Dampare’s immediate predecessor, James Oppong-Boanuh, came face to face with similar incidents ahead of his departure, with attacks on bullion vans by armed robbers on motorbikes, who had hidden their faces in crash helmets.
In June this year, a police officer; late Constable General, Emmanuel Osei and a hawker, Afua Badu, were killed by robbers, forcing the service to get alert afterwards with a stern warning for the all banks to procure bulletproof bullion vans.
However, as the crime incidents increase, there are claims that, the new IGP, is being sabotaged by some of his senior officers, who know the ground and are aware of where the armed robbers are, and could crush them in no time, if they’re interested in curbing the growing lawlessness engulfing the capital city.
There are claims that many of the senior officers who felt that they should have been made IGP, are not on good terms with Dr Akufo Dampare. They feel he is too young for the position, but for political patronage.
Attempts by the acting IGP, to check policemen abusing service motorbikes used for Dispatch Riding, has also not gone down well with some of the personnel, who have commercialized that operation by riding private individuals through Accra’s thick traffic.
The robbery cases captured so far, are Achimota robbery on September 20, 2021, on a hot afternoon, a robbery syndicate tailed a woman from a bank in Abeka in Accra and managed to rob her of an estimated amount of GH¢29,000.
The robbers who are on the run, chased the woman and robbed her at a traffic stop in Achimota.
A video of the incident, has since emerged, and it was chilling to view how the operation was conducted in less than 18 seconds. An innocent life was lost in the process.
Three days after the Achimota incident, another one was recorded at Kwashieman in Accra, where a man was shot in another robbery attack.
Media reports are that, the man was shot in a daylight robbery operation close to a Bank of Africa branch at Kwashieman.
The suspects had robbed the victim of a huge sum of money he withdrew from the Bank of Africa bank. The victim sustained injuries and was rushed to the hospital.
In yet another case, a daylight armed robbery incident was recorded at Sampa Valley near Weija barrier, a suburb in Accra on Friday, October 24, 2021. The robbers, who were four in number, were on two different motorbikes.
According to an eye witness, the robbers used an AK47 and fired warning shots at the crime scene.
They intercepted a white vehicle where they robbed the victims of their possession in a sack.
An amateur video intercepted by some media houses, showed the robbers forcefully taking the booty from the victims and fleeing the scene while firing warning shots.
In all the instances, the robbers in all the cases, had hidden their faces with their crash helmets. It remains unclear the extent of police investigation to determine how the robbers got to know how they got to know about their victims.
Meanwhile, the Accra regional police command, on Friday, September 24, 2021, said it has instituted some urgent additional security measures to arrest a robbery gang attacking people in recent days.
The police, has, therefore, pleaded with residents to bear with its personnel with regard to the scaled-up security measures to deal with the threat.
The police, in a statement, is also urging the public and corporate institutions who intend to withdraw and deposit huge sums of money, to exercise caution or contact the law enforcement body for assistance as far as such transactions are concerned.
Any suspicious behaviour or movement of persons should be reported immediately to the police on the emergency numbers 18555, 191, 0302773906 or 0302787373, the regional command said in a statement.
The police, said it has placed a GHS50,000 bounty on the heads of the thugs.