Violent crimes on the rise in Ghana – Bureau of Public Safety

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The Bureau of Public Safety has expressed concern about the growing incident of violent crimes including murder in the country.

The bureau in its 2019 half-year report remarked that “Crime and Violent Crime continue to be a matter of concern as the two account for over 60% of all public safety events reported between April and June 2019.”

It noted that violent crime events increased by over 43% in the second quarter and accounts for more than 25% deaths over the first half of the year.

The figures are based on only reported cases.

Among the specific crimes that led to the increase were murder, manslaughter, armed robbery and assault.

In the first quarter of the year, violent crimes topped the chart for major crime incidents in the country.

The Bureau of Public Safety expressed concern that the Ghana Police Service “have no known active cold case program in place and absolutely no information on crime clearance rate especially for murder, armed robbery and assault.”

It, therefore, proposed that the police set up irregular checkpoints rather than regular ones that only check for vehicle documentations.

“The GPS must depart from mounting regular checkpoints to basically check for vehicle documentations and occasionally for arms to irregular checkpoints, and include sobriety checks,” it said in its report.

The Greater Accra Region has consistently led in the number of public safety concerns including violent crimes, with about 199 incidents recorded in 2018 and the previous year, 2017.

Transportation still tops cause of deaths in Ghana

BPS also identified transportation-related incidents as a leading cause of casualties in the country.

According to BPS, 41% of deaths recorded in the country, among ten indicators, from January to June 2019 was through transportation.

“Transportation remains the leading cause of death among the ten indicators of public safety and crime monitored. It accounts for over 41% of the deaths reported from January to June 2019,” BPS stated in its report.

The report broadly categorized public safety events under crime, violent crime, fire and industrial/workplace-related incidents, transportation-related incidents, civil disturbances, police officer casualties, police brutalities, police arrests, natural disasters, and general Incidents.

BPS stated in its report that, 65% of all vehicles involved in all road crashes were commercial vehicles (excluding motorbikes).

The BPS acknowledged recent efforts initiated by Citi TV/FM in collaboration with the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service to reduce indiscipline on the roads but urged the MTTD “to establish and own a sustained institutional campaign to enforce basic road laws across Ghana in order to achieve any meaningful gains in curbing road crashes.”

More on the Report

The Ghana Public Safety and Crime report also known as the BPS WATCH is an initiative by the Bureau of Public Safety towards providing information to the general public, policymakers, and law enforcement.

“For the first half of 2019, the top three most frequently reported public safety events were crime, violent crime, and civil disturbances with 32%, 32% and 9% respectively of all cases reported,” the report stated.

Kofi Atinka

Kofi Atinka