The Upper West Region is witnessing a year on year reduction in robberies. Robberies reduced from 120 reported cases in 2017 to 99 in 2018 while the number of reported robbery incidents further reduced to 73 last year.
According to the Upper West Regional Police Command, stealing has also reduced on yearly basis.
The Upper West Regional Police Command has attributed this to increased police visibility in the neighborhoods, day and night police patrols and escort services offered by the police to travelers who ply Wa-Sawla road and market women on market days.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Police Commander, ACP Peter Ndekugri said to sustain the gains, the Command needs more robust vehicles and motorbikes as well as more personnel to supplement the existing numbers.
“The public can attest to the fact that last year’s yuletide was one of the most peaceful festive seasons celebrated in the region. We therefore want to use this opportunity to request for additional motorbikes. Due to the terrain in the region, robust pick-up vehicles can also help fight crime effectively especially at the outskirts of town where motorbikes with two officers may not be appropriate,” ACP Ndekugri appealed.
He said this when the Interior Minister and his team paid an official visit to the Command.
The Upper West Regional Police Command has a total staff strength of 984. The personnel according to the Deputy Commander of the Command, ACP Peter Ndekugri have been strategically distributed throughout the region based on rigorous needs assessment.
ACP Ndekugri said the Command has also extended its services to the Sawla-Banda Nkwanta Road in the Savannah Region to protect road users. He mentioned that currently, travelers heading from Sawla to Wa have to spend long hours waiting before they are escorted due to the inadequacy of vehicles.
“Robbery on the Wa-Sawla highway was very rampant. The introduction of bus escort, creation of checkpoints at vantage points and vehicle patrols have reduced criminal activities on that stretch of the road,” he said.
The Deputy Commander added that “it is the intention of the Regional Police Command to reduce the time spent by passengers before they are escorted to Wa. We will therefore be pleased if two additional vehicles could be allocated to the command”.
Minister of the Interior and MP for Nandom, Ambrose Dery, assured the Upper West Regional Police Command of the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring that their needs are met. He said government has spent in excess of ¢800 million in retooling the police.
Mr Dery said more police personnel would be recruited to supplement the numbers in the region.
He said two new units have been formed under the Ghana Police Service. They are the K-9 Unit and the Airborne Unit which will begin with 3 helicopters and some six pilots being trained in South Africa.
Mr Dery said government has setup a more competitive compensation plan for personnel of the service who sustain injuries or meet their untimely deaths in the line of duty.
Minister of the Interior and his team are in the Upper West Region on a three day visit. Mr Dery first held a meeting with the Upper West Regional Security Council.
He then visited and interacted with staff of the Upper West Regional Peace Council, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Ghana Prison Service, Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO). The visits of the Minister were to familiarise himself with the problems of the agencies under his ministry.
At the Upper West Regional Peace Council, it came to light that there currently are about 11 trouble hotspots in the region. The Chairman on the Regional Peace Council, Reverend Father Aloysius Nuolabong appealed for support to enable the Council fulfill its mandates.
The Acting Upper West Regional Commander of Ghana National Fire Service, DO1 Abraham Nii Dodoo disclosed that as at the 21st of this month 29 fires had been recorded as against 20 during the same period last year. Touching on the recent fire at the Wa Islamic Senior High School, the Commander said preliminary investigations point to the fact the fire could have started as a result of some illegal electrical connections by students using the dormitory block.
DO1 Dodoo appealed for vehicles and motorbikes to help the Command run it operations effectively. He also appealed for cutting edge rescue equipment to help in the removal of persons from mangled accident vehicles.
At the Ghana Prison Service, the Commander, DDP Christopher Nyamedi said that the Wa Prisons had not recorded any jailbreak or riot within the past two years. DDP Nyamedi mentioned congestion at the various cells, inadequate health materials and equipment for both staff and inmate, inadequate staff and operational logistics as some of the major challenges of the service.
He encouraged the Minister of Interior to work towards increasing the feeding grant from ¢1.80 to enable to prisoners meet their nutritional needs.
The Regional Commander of Immigration, Chief Superintendent Abdulai Zackaria and the Controller General of GIS, Kwame Asuah Takyi appealed for more personnel to help patrol unmanned entry points along the Black Volta in the region.
The Regional Director for the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ahmed Mustapha thanked the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery for the quick work in releasing some monies owed staff. He mentioned that some staff members who were due promotion had remained in one position for periods longer than 10 years. He also appealed for relief items to be able to stock their warehouses in preparation towards disasters that might happen.
Mr Mustapha said the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) which is supposed to operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week is currently offline because of logistical constraints. He appealed to the Minister of the Interior for vehicles and other logistics for their operations.
Mr Mustapha used the platform to indicate that about 50 mattresses, more than 100 blankets, 200 buckets, plates and cups have been handed over to affected students of the Wa Islamic Senior High School.
Story filed by Mark Smith.