Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Prof. Kwesi Aning

The Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) says the changing dynamic of crime calls for a different strategy towards fighting crime.

Professor Kwesi Aning, speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, observed that poor intelligence gathering contributes to the crime surge.

“What we are seeing is a combination of several years of lack of investment in police intelligence, lack of investment in planning, lack of investment in understanding the changing dynamics of crime and the usage of operational intelligence in mapping out, responding to, and distributing resources, and then pulling back the information to [fish out how to] link the disbursement of logistics to particularly crime-prone areas in such a manner that we will be able to respond appropriately and effectively,” he said.

Residents in Accra, during the week, were frightened following at least four broad daylight robberies in parts of the capital city.

On Monday, September 20, four armed robbers executed the well-planned and coordinated heist at Achimota along the Accra-Amasaman highway.

It appeared the bandits had tailed a woman from a bank at Abeka, where she went to withdraw a large amount of money.

The second incident occurred near a bank at Kwashieman on Wednesday, September 22 in which an unidentified man was shot in the leg by robbers not long after he came out of the bank and they made away with his money.

A statement by the Police on Friday also indicated that a 33-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint of an amount of ¢29,000.

Similar to the previous ones, another victim who had just withdrawn an amount of money in a bag was attacked when the gun-wielding men on a motorbike, fired shots and robbed him.

On his part, the Acting Director-General of the Ghana Police Service’s Public Affairs Directorate, ACP Kwesi Ofori, commenting on the robberies on the same show, assured the Police, with the assistance of technology and security cameras, are working to fish out culprits.

To that, Prof Aning said although the usage of CCTVs is key, there is a need to pay attention to the manner in which the information captured on those cameras are used.

“Who has access to them, and more so the manner in which the murder and robbery and the information on that CCTV camera were thrown out into the public space, putting in danger the owners of those cameras truly has undermined the public trust in how it can share intelligence with this service,” he said.

The security expert also suggested that the background of bank staff should be checked routinely to reassure clients or those who use the banks because such issues raise some fundamental questions.

“Are we picking up people within that particular bank, checking their laptops, checking their phone records to ensure if there’s been some compromise of sensitive information relating to the client?”

“This lady who withdrew the money from the bank, how did criminal know that she had the money on her?” he quizzed.

Prof Aning further noted that the criminals’ quality and calibre of weaponry have changed, hence, the need for the Police to up their game.

“Ten years ago, we were seeing pump action guns; right now, we are seeing military guns, AK47s,” he noted.    

He, however, stated that he is hopeful that the measure put in place by ACP Kwesi Ofori and his team if carried through will yield results to generate trust between the Service and the public.

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