Editorial: Police must find ways of dealing with highway robbers
With the Christmas celebration fast approaching, armed robbery cases seem to be on the ascendency once again. Yesterday, the Daily Graphic reported that VVIP buses moving from Accra to Kumasi on Sunday night were attacked by these armed robbers. According to the story, miscreants who were hiding in the bush at a spot near the popular Linda Dor Restaurant opened fire on the buses, resulting in some of the drivers and passengers being severely injured.
The robbers then took advantage of the darkness and robbed the passengers at gunpoint and fled before the police could get to the scene. There was earlier report that a similar robbery incident had taken place in the Kintampo area in the Bono East Region.
It is important to note that the robbers have not limited their activities to the highways alone. They are also operating in places in Accra and Kumasi where the middle class people live.
Just last week, there was a report that one of the two persons, who robbed a lady somewhere in the Amansaman area in the Greater Accra Region whilst the victim was on her to way to work at dawn, had been arrested. The robbers emerged from a hidden place, pulled a pistol and threatened to shoot the lady if she refused to hand over her handbag to them.
In the Adenta area, and the SSNIT flats to be specific, the robbers have consistently been attacking ladies who wake up early to go to the market, and rob them of cash and other valuables.
According to the residents, the suspected robbers are seen in the day time riding motorbikes and surveying the place, but since they (suspects) have the freedom to move around, they are unable to question their movements.
The Chronicle finds these developments very worrying because it creates the impression that the country is not safe, especially for one to travel in the night. In the 1990s, robbery of filling stations became the order of the day. A number of fuel attendants lost their lives as a result of these attacks. However, when the police decided to move into action, they were able to stop them.
Ending highway robberies, we must admit, is going to be a herculean task, but like the fuel stations issue, if the police decide to intensify their hunt for the robbers, they can bring the situation under control. Thanks to the Akufo-Addo government and, in fact, all the succeeding governments, the police now have resources, though it may not meet their expectations, to move around and fight some of these crimes.
No country in this world can prosper without adequate security for her citizens. In fact, the much-talked about ‘direct foreign investment’ can never be achieved if those who are willing to come in and invest are not sure of their safety.
This is the reason why the police must wake up and try to quell the rampant robberies on the highways and streets in the big towns and cities. The police cannot be everywhere, but if they have patrols dotted along the highways, they can respond promptly to some of these armed robbery attacks.