In a move to tackle head-on the rampant cases of violent armed robberies in the Kumasi metropolis and its environs, the Ashanti Regional Police Command has announced the establishment of an anti-armed robbery Taskforce at the regional police headquarters to be headed by the Deputy Regional Commander ACP Osei Kwaku Ampofo.
The initiative was announced by the Ashanti Regional Police Commander DCOP Kofi Boakye on Wednesday at a re-launching of the Police Confidence Reaffirmation Campaign in Kumasi. He explained that the decision to form the taskforce was reached by the Regional Police Management Team to deal with the rising spate of armed robbery in the region.
The initiative comes at a time when the region’s armed robbery rate has surged in recent times. The latest victim of a robbery incident was the Assembly Member for Akomfre, Samuel Frimpong who was robbed and killed on Tuesday while entering his house at Atwima Boko in the Atwima Kwawoma District.
Spelling out the mandate of the taskforce, the Regional commander outlined, “the Regional Anti-Robbery Taskforce has been formed to concentrate on only robbery cases in the region so that they can go far and near to gather intelligence and look at criminal profiling, review the modus operandi of all armed robbers so that arrest of armed robbers and prevention of robbery will be easier.”
He says the Taskforce will have its office at the Regional Police Headquarters.
DCOP Kofi Boakye also expressed concern about the rising number of armed robbery cases reported to his outfit on a daily basis and declared that “armed robbery has become the priority of the regional police” and promised that the trend will be reduced “to the barest minimum.”
Another concern to the Commander is the illegal possession of firearms in the region.
“It must be stated here and now that the Ashanti Region is awash with weapons including AK 47, pump action guns and locally manufactured pestles. And because of the increase in the possession of arms in the region people even fire at funerals and weddings indiscriminately,” he bemoaned.
He emphasized that the new policy for the region on arms was that “all unauthorized weapons must be handed over to the police command with immediate effect and if anyone is found in the possession of a fire arm, he will first be declared an armed robber until proven otherwise.”
He added that AK 47 rifles were prohibited from civilian possession and thus must be submitted to the service. DCOP Boakye also announced a thousand Ghana Cedi reward for anyone who informs the police of any unregistered weapon especially AK 47 assault rifles.