The Ghana Public Safety and Crime Report has said that violent crimes went up from 183 in 2020 to 220 from January to June 2021, representing a 20 per cent increase.
This was contained in a report assessing crime wave in the country which indicates that the top five most reported violent crimes were murder or manslaughter, armed robbery, assault, burglary and suicide.
Nana Yaw Akwada, Chief of Party at the Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) at the presentation of the report said firearms use in the commission of violent crimes had increased by 79 percent over the same period compared to 2020.
“Seventy-four per cent of reported armed robbery cases involved the use of firearms, while 20 percent of homicides involved firearm use. More than 80 per cent of violent crimes occurred outside of the place of abode or homes of victims; these included roads and highways, offices, business or trade spaces, places of worship, and other transitional spaces.
“More than 95 per cent of armed robbery incidents occurred outside of home, and 76 per cent of murder or manslaughter cases were reported to have occurred out of home. Violent crime deaths reportedly increased from 134 in 2020 to 171 in 2021 representing a 28 percent increase,” he said.
Nana Akwada said Central region recorded most suicide cases of six out of a total of 21 cases for the period in 2021, representing 29 per cent of suicides reported across the country; followed by the Greater Accra region with 14 per cent of such cases.
He said most armed robbery incidents occurred in the Greater Accra region forming 24 percent of all armed robberies with the Ashanti region following with 16 percent of incidents.
“Fifty per cent of all property crimes reported for the period occurred in the Greater Accra. More females (59 percent) were reported as victims to murder or manslaughter cases, while 81 percent of males were reported as victims of armed robbery events,” he said.
On road traffic crashes, the report said all aspects (i.e., reported cases, deaths and injuries) of transportation increased as compared to 2020, and the trend at the end of June 2021 was on the upward trajectory.
Reported cases or events of road traffic crashes (RTCs) increased by 18 per cent with deaths and injuries also increased by eight per cent and 16 per cent respectively.
In the area of law enforcement, the report said Police arrest efforts for the period under study decreased from 268 in 2020 to 244 arrests in the same period of 2021, representing a nine per cent decrease.
The report said out of a total of 10 Police officer casualties for the period, 50 percent (all deaths) occurred during armed robbery incidents, and another 30 percent were alleged suicide cases.
“Various statutory and regulatory violations reported for the period in 2021 occupied the third spot on the reported crime league chart. These include COVID protocol, road traffic, sanitation violations among others,” the report said.
Nana Akwada said efforts to review the legal regime of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, and to create a multiagency-cooperation system involving the Ghana Police Service, Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), and other State agencies in order to fight illegal proliferation of firearms into the country should be hastened.
He said efforts to educate the public about situational awareness and dangers in transitional spaces, and community policing cannot be over emphasised. State mounted CCTV cameras should be deployed, and footages occasionally released to the public to promote awareness and serve as a deterrent to would-be criminals.
“Currently, in the process of pushing through a National Road Safety Authority Regulation, the National Road Safety Authority now clothed with unimpeded authority to manage safety on our roads should institute some radical interim measures at driver education, and speed control to reduce the rising trend of road casualties,” he added.
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