Private security personnel manning a Star Oil Filling Station at Tojer, near Kasseh in the Ada East District, on Monday, at dawn, reportedly engaged six armed robbers in a fierce gun battle. The security men were the first to open fire at the robbers who sneaked into the premises of the filling station, via an unauthorised route, at about 2am.
Though the robbers returned fire, the shots from the security men of the filling station hit one, who was whisked away by his colleagues. According to some of the security personnel who spoke to The Chronicle, they spotted somebody attired in a police uniform, and wielding a gun among the robbers.
The security personnel said the Ada Divisional Police Command is about three kilometres away, however, the police arrived at the scene an hour later. This was the second time this year that armed robbers had raided the filling station. The first one was on March 7, 2018, when a 20-year-old, William Gbedze, entered the filling station and bolted with cash of GH¢20,000 and mobile phone credit cards worth GH¢1,000.
The Chronicle is happy that despite the late arrival of the police, no human life was lost in the attack. According to the story we published in the paper yesterday, it was rather the private security men who succeeded in inflicting wounds on one of the suspected robbers. Following intensive operations by past and present police administrations, armed robbery attacks on petrol stations, which became rampant in the 1990s, have now been reduced to the barest minimum.
Past and present governments also deserve a pat on the back, as they also contributed, in terms of financial and logistical support. But, this notwithstanding, it appears some of the police stations in the country still do not have vehicles to enable them move quickly when they are called in emergency situations.
In the story under reference, the Divisional Commander at Ada claims though they received the distress call, there were no vehicles for his men to move in quickly.
Some of our police officers, for fear of intimidation by the political class, would have told a nice story to cover up why they failed to respond quickly to the distress call. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) George Kumah, Ada Police Divisional Commander, did not, however, indulge in this cosmetic tactic, as he hit the nail right on the head – his outfit had no official vehicles to rush to the scene of the crime.
Some of these police officers must be congratulated instead of being vilified for telling the truth. Truth, as the saying goes, hurts, but it helps in tackling situations head on. The Chronicle is aware that the Akufo-Addo government recently gave some saloon cars to the police to facilitate their operations. What this story is telling the government is that the cars are not enough to cover all the police stations.
The Chronicle is, therefore, appealing to the government to still consider the procurement of logistics, especially vehicles, to the police as top priority. Crime is increasingly becoming sophisticated, and any police force that is less equipped would definitely not win the war. We are, at the same time, calling on the public to be security-conscious, since the police cannot be at every corner of the country.
Workers of the Ada filling station would have fallen victims to these armed robbers if they were not alert. The police have the constitutional duty to protect every inhabitant of this country, but the individual has the first priority of protecting herself or himself.