Ghana parliamentarians have asked the police to increase protection for legislators and the population after expressing concern about the recent surge in unsolved murders in the country, especially in the capital, Accra and surrounding areas.
But, the police administration says its Criminal Investigation Division (CID) has launched an inquiry into the killings after reassuring the public that the country is safe. Some Ghanaians however say they are worried since the police have yet to arrest anyone in connection with the killings.
Cephas Arthur, director of Public Affairs of Ghana’s Police says Ghanaians are not used to the recent surge in murders. He assured the public that the police have been implementing measures to ensure the population’s protection. He says the rate of the killings has yet to reach an alarming point.
“The police are doing a lot. We have intensified patrols we have intensified all our operational strategies to nip it in the bud even before it becomes a problem,” said Arthur. “I can say that what has happened is not anything alarming, it is just because Ghanaians are not used to this in recent times, [and] that is why there seems to be concern,” said Arthur.
Critics say the CID has yet to arrest and prosecute those behind the murders. They express concern that the failure to arrest those behind the murders is creating nervousness among the population.
Arthur acknowledged the tension created by the murders, but said police officers are investigating the killings.
“The CID is on top of the investigation except that matters of serious crimes like murders, armed robbery and others sometimes take time to resolve them. Sometimes it takes two years, five years it could take up to 10 or up to 15 years and even some remain unresolved. But, then I can assure you that every effort is being made to get to the bottom of this,” said Arthur.
He says murder suspects in some recent killings have been arrested and arraigned before the courts.
Arthur says Ghanaians should be assured that the police will ensure their safety.
“In as much as the police [are] concerned about the few incidents that have happened, it is not anything alarming. We haven’t reached a stage where people should throw up their arms in the air in despair,” said Arthur.
“We have just recorded about four or five of such [murder] cases over a period of time. A situation that is not comparable to the situation as it pertains to some countries even in Africa, in Europe and in the Americas. Comparatively, we have a safer country but then we are not going to sit down unconcerned and let this situation degenerate.”
Arthur says the police have launched a media campaign to re-assure the public about their safety.