To fight the expected surge in crime involving the use of motorcycles during the Yuletide, the Accra Regional Police Command has deployed 50 motorbike patrol teams to deal with criminals.
The 50 motorbike teams, who will augment the effort of policemen already in the system, are made up of well-trained policemen whose principal task is to stop and chase motorcycle riders who fit the current police profile of criminals riding on motorcycles.
Launching the command’s operational strategy, also known as Father Christmas Operation, for before, during and after the Christmas celebrations, the Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr George Alex Mensah, said “this will step up efforts to counter criminals who dare commit crimes using motorbikes and also complement the challenges posed to vehicle patrols in most poor motorable areas within the region”.
A review of crime trends this year, he said, had shown the rampant use of both registered and unregistered motorbikes to commit crimes.
He said the suspected criminals, through their operations, had attacked persons and shops, phone card vendors, utility sales points and similar business outlets.
In addition to the motorbike teams, Mr Mensah said, the command would deploy 3,000 police officers and men to police key identifiable threat areas in Accra and also increase police presence in the region.
He explained that the strategy was intended to increase the chances of detection and arrest of criminals and reduce the “fear of crime” during and after the Christmas season.
“We are sure to deter criminal activities, frustrate their operations and swiftly arrest the few criminal elements who intend to take advantage of the festive season to commit crimes,” he said,
He added that the police would be visible in communities and residential areas, entertainment centres, shopping centres, market areas, religious and special events centres, among others.
For effective policing in the communities and residential areas, Mr Mensah urged the public to observe basic personal security precautions to augment what the police would provide.
To ensure that people who participated in the religious activities used to mark Christmas did so without any hindrance, he said, the command would set up temporary police posts at special and religious events across the region to provide security for participants and also prevent possible crimes from occurring.
Also, Mr Mensah said well-trained and resourced policemen would be deployed to facilities such as malls, beaches, restaurants, heavily patronised social engagements, among others, to handle cases of extremism.
He cautioned motorists against practices that would endanger their lives and the lives of others on the roads during and after the Christmas festivities.
As part of efforts to ensure sanity on the roads, Mr Mensah said, personnel from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Police Service would be stationed at vantage traffic-prone points to manage traffic effectively.
“The police are utilising every resource available to ensure that the entire region is safe for Christmas and beyond. Over the years, we have worked hard to ensure that criminal activities do not mar the serenity of the season and we will do that, even at the peril of our lives,” he said.