The Ghana Police Service in the Jomoro Municipality of the Western Region has inaugurated a 25-member Neighbourhood Watchdog Committee to support the police to beef up security at Elubo and its environs.
This is to help get rid of criminals who have used the area as their home where all negative activities are carried out including stealing of valuables, robbery and killings among others.
The members were selected from the Elubo Youth Association, Old Ankasa Community Youth Association, formed to ensure the welfare of the youth.
The committee is expected to enhance security consciousness among traders and neighbours, encourage citizen’s participation in crime prevention and build strong informant base to arrest perpetrators.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony held at the premises of Elubo Police Station on Friday, December 28, 2018, the Half Assini Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Akwasi Kankam Boadu, reminded the Neighborhood Watchdog Committee that their role as committee members does not permit them to take law enforcement actions, cause unlawful arrest, carry weapons, detain and brutalise suspects.
“Your role is also not to engage in acts of vigilantism that has the tendency to mar this brilliant initiative, but to work closely with the police to abate crime”, he advised.
“Crime in recent times has become sophisticated that the police need to work extra harder and adopt modern community engagement strategies to be a step ahead of criminals and the command would continue to adopt strategies and measures such as intelligence led operations and increasing police presence at crime-prone areas,” he stated.
He commended the youth for forming the committee. “Elubo Neighbourhood Watch Committee has come at a time when the police-citizen relation is needed to tackle crime”.
Chief Superintendent assured the committee of police support and urged them to be transparent in the discharge of their activities.
Chief Supt. Kankam said maintenance of security in society should not be seen as the sole responsibility of the police.
He said every Ghanaian has a part to play and added that the public must accept to assist with credible information that would help the police to track down criminals.
“The police needs credible information you the civilian to uproot criminals in our society and please provide us with credible information”, he pleaded.
Chief Supt. Kankam said the police could not succeed in ridding the country of hardened criminals without the co-operation of the public.
He advised members of the committee not to take the law into their own hands by meting out instant justice to suspected criminals they arrest, but rather endeavour to hand them over to the police for investigation and
He said the Neighborhood Watchdog Committee was very important adding that this will help bring peace and unity in Elubo and its environs.
“Peace is important in every community and where there is no peace there is no development so let us all support them”, he emphasized.
He, therefore seized the opportunity to appeal to NGOs and other benevolent organizations to support the Elubo Neighbourhood Watchdog Committee financially to deliver their duties.
The Patron of the Committee, Chairman John Beneyeworh thanked the Ghana Police Service for mandating the Committee to work with the police in the area to combat crimes and other illegal activities.
He urged the volunteers to do a sacrificial work and advised them to eschew acts that would infringe on the rights of people and also warned them to stay away from bad morals.
He advised “Do not take bribes, do not take the law into your own hands, do not involve yourself in any criminal activities”.
He charged them to lead good behavior for others to emulate from them and called on them to help the police to curb criminals in the community and its environs.
The Patron also used the occasion to appeal to the volunteers to respect the security agencies in the area.
He called on the traders and neighbours to help them eliminate criminals amongst them who are tainting the image of traders at the Elubo boarder.
On his part, the General Secretary of Elubo Youth Association (EYA), Nana Frendoh Bosso Kwasi expressed his profound gratitude to the Western Regional Police Commander for listening to their appeal for providing the Elubo Police with a vehicle.
Nana Frendoh revealed the motive behind the establishment of the Elubo Neighbourhood Watchdog Committee and said Elubo is a cosmopolitan town and also a gateway to Ghana in the Western part of the country.
He added that such geographical area, a lot of people come in and leave but some also stay to pursue their businesses “So we live with different nationals from our sister countries such as La Coté d’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo and Nigeria”.
“Moreover, Elubo is a beacon of Jomoro Municipality in terms of economic activities and also one of the Ghana Revenue Authority Centres in the nation. In spite of this, Elubo still is underdeveloped. A lot of people are farmers, traders, businessmen and women”, he added.
He said rampant stealing, robbery, killings and other crimes were facing the community adding “As the President of the Republic of Ghana said we should be citizens but not spectators and this motivate us more to establish this Committee to support the work of the police in this area”
He added “Recent persistent stealing, robbery, killings and other related crimes against good people citizens of Elubo and its environs calls for a WatchDog Committee in each community to be instituted”.
He, therefore called on Ghana Police Council to increase the number police personnel in the area to fight against criminal activities such as drug trade.
He was hopeful that the Neighborhood Watchdog Committee will help ensure security in the area.
Speaking on behalf of the Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Paul Essien, the Jomoro NPP Second Vice Chairman, Mr. Jackson Atiku said the NPP government would continue provide security for its citizens and added that the government is in support of the committee.
He urged them to eschew favouritism and also told them to be transparent.
He advised them to be respectful and respect all the security agencies and also be truthful.
He therefore called on the committee members to collaborate with the police in combating crime in the municipality.
He said the MP and NPP government would continue to assist the volunteers in the provision of the necessary security and logistics and asked the police to collaborate with the volunteers for adequate assistance.
He donated 500 Ghana Cedis on behalf of the MP to the Committee to support their operations.
On his part, the Assemblyman for the area, Hon. Kwasi Nipah thanked the youth for devoting their precious time to form this committee to assist the police to track down criminals in the area.
He advised them to do regular exercise to live healthy to discharge their duties effectively.
He also urged them to take their education seriously and further their education to meet the future opportunities.
In this, Hon. Nipah appealed to the security forces to consider these volunteers anytime the state is looking for youth to be recruited into the security services.
A member of the Elubo Youth Association who is also an Assembly Member of the area, Hon. Moses Andoh thanked the community and its environs for rally behind the establishment of the committee.
He urged them to continue rally behind them and also urged the community members to be law-abiding citizens.
Hon. Moses called on the media to be circumspect in their reportage on criminal activities and asked landlords to assist the volunteers.
He seized the opportunity and pledged his total commitment to support the volunteers and added that he would provide education on security matters to them.
He advised them against the use of offensive weapons in the course of their activities but to refer any arrests made to the police.
He also advised members of the committee not to take the law into their own hands by meting out instant justice to suspected criminals they arrest, but rather endeavour to hand them over to the police for investigation and
The Chief of Elubo thanked the Elubo Youth Association and Ghana Police and also other security agencies for the establishment of the Neighborhood Watchdog Committee in his area and its environs.
He said this committee will help bring peace in the area and pledged his support for the committee.
Some of the Committee Members who spoke to the media promised the committee members would do their best to help protect lives and properties at the Elubo and its environs.
He therefore called on the committee members to collaborate with the police in combating crime in the area.
These security agencies were at the inaugural ceremony, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Customs Division, BNI among others and they all advised the Neighborhood Watchdog Committee members to be observant and be careful in the discharge of their duties.
Source: Daniel Kaku