The Police have called for sweeping changes to the country’s laws on guns to adequately punish people who obtain them illegally.
DCOP Augustine Gyening, Ashanti Regional Police Commander, said the availability of drugs and weapons poses a major challenge to law enforcement agents in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Police Visibility and Accessibility Department in Kumasi on Wednesday, the police chief noted that “this is what is fueling the commission of violent crimes all over the place.”
“To this end, it’s our wish that a second look be taken at the law making illegal possession of firearms an offence and the punishment that goes with it,” he added.
The current punishment does not sufficiently deter criminals, he said.
The grand inauguration was attended by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Alhassan and his lieutenants.
Touching on the visibility and accessibility programme, DCOP Gyening said the programme had helped to significantly reduce crime in the metropolis.
Violent crimes like armed robbery, Mr. Gyening pointed out, had declined in Kumasi as a result of the presence of the police.
“All the points are supported by strong and fast moving vehicles,” the commander noted, asserting, “this is not to suggest that crime has been uprooted.”
He disclosed that criminals would do everything within their power to perpetuate their nefarious activities, stressing that “it was the duty of law enforcers to limit their chance of success to give the general populace freedom to go about their activities.”
COP Rose Bio-Atinga, Police Director of Administration, said modernity and social change had compelled police officers to adopt proactive policing methods.
According to her, the Visibility and Accessibility Department was set up to keep people safe, reduce crime and promote community-police relations.
COP Bio-Atinga stated that officers in the new police unit had been provided with vehicles, logistics and gadgets to combat crime in the communities.
She disclosed that the police administration had deployed 20 vehicles and 300 personnel to the unit in Ashanti region to man 30 out of 31 points in Kumasi.
She said the work of personnel of the department would complement the traditional policing methods to combat crime.
COP Bio-Atinga entreated officers of the new unit to discharge their duties professionally.
Kwaku Kyei, President of the Retired Association of Former IGPs, who was the guest of honour, performed the symbolic inauguration ceremony.