The Ghana Police Service has deployed its special Anti-Armed Robbery Squad (AARS) to the Eastern and Bono East regions to clamp down on the increasing activities of armed robbers in those regions.
The AARS special force is to boost the capabilities of the two regional commands to ruthlessly fight robbery and other violent crimes on highways.
The acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, deployed 227 policemen and senior officers, including 126 personnel, for the Eastern Region, with 101 personnel headed for the Bono East Region.
The team for the Eastern Region is led by the Director-General, Administration, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Christian Tetteh Yohonu, and assisted by the Director-General of Operations, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Mohammed Fuseini Suraj
The team for the Bono East Region is led by the Director-General in charge of Information Communications Technology (ICT), Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Edward Tabiri.
The acting Director-General of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), M r Kwesi Ofori, gave the details in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday after the deployment of the special squad.
He gave an assurance that the police are prepared to rid the country of armed robbers and called for the cooperation of the general public during the exercise in the two regions.
ACP Mr Ofori said: “They are under instruction to deal ruthlessly with criminals in the two regions and their surrounding areas”.
He said while in the regions, the special squad would patrol and mount snap checkpoints to maintain high visibility and do more public engagement with communities to support ongoing police activities aimed at reducing crime in the jurisdictions.
The special Anti Armed Robbery Squad, he said, would also launch intelligence-led attacks on criminal elements in both regions and protect traders and economic activity in the area.
The acting Director-General of the Police Public Affairs Directorate appealed to the public not to feel intimidated by the heavy police presence.
“We entreat members of the communities living within these regions to assist the police in ridding their communities of criminals. The police will stop at nothing to keep you safe and secure,” he stated.
In recent times, there have been several robbery attacks on residents in the two regions while some violent crimes have also been recorded.
On May 7, 2021, some gunmen attacked the headteacher of Bantama SDA Basic School in the Sene West District, Mr Elijah Asante, when he was returning from a workshop for teachers.
On Friday, May 21, 2021, a 41-year-old military officer from the Third Battalion of Infantry in Sunyani, Sergeant Job Kwame Odei, was shot and killed by about six suspected robbers who were wielding guns and robbing commuters at gunpoint on the Prang-Kintampo Highway in the Pru East District in the Bono East Region.
On Wednesday, July 7, 202, suspected robbers attacked a commercial passenger vehicle and killed an ICT teacher at the Kajiji DA Junior High School, identified as Mr Prah Junior, in the Bono Region. The driver of the vehicle sustained injuries.
On August 2, this year, the police at Abease in the Yeji District in the Bono East Region arrested two suspected robbers, King Solomon Osei and Peter Narifu, for allegedly assaulting their victims and collected their belongings while demanding their mobile money password at gunpoint at Damankwanta in the Pru West District in the Bono East Region.
In the Eastern Region, a man was shot when some suspected highway robbers mounted a roadblock at Barfuor Nkwanta near the Sorkode Dwaso junction, a spot where the police mostly conduct checks on vehicles, on the Koforidua-Akyem Kukurantumi road in the Eastern Region on Monday, May 24, this year.
About 20 vehicles were allegedly robbed by the suspects who made away with a total of GH¢50,000, according to a victim.
On Monday, August 9, this year, a gang of six suspected armed robbers attacked commuters on the Patase stretch of the Asamankese-Topease highway.
The robbers, who wore reflectors and used a torchlight to stop their victims under the guise of being police officers, also attacked two pastors, an elder and a deacon of the Church of Pentecost.
They also robbed some occupants of a Rhino truck of their phones and a sum of GH¢12,500.
At the end of July this year, the police retrieved 2,882 rounds of AK-47; 7.63 ammunition, 840 rounds of M-16 ammunition and 23 BB cartridges from suspected armed robbers at a hideout at Ntoaso in the Eastern Region.
On Monday, August 9, this year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during a courtesy call on Nana Kwadwo Nyarko III, the Paramount Chief of Prang Traditional Area, in the Pru West District, as part of a two-day working visit to the Bono East Region gave assurance of the provision of effective security to check armed-robbery and other forms of crime in the region.