The Inspector General of Police, Paul Tawiah Quaye has expressed grave concern over the upsurge of communal clashes in recent times even though the crime rate has declined by 1 percent over the past year.
He said the sudden rise in communal violence between May and July this year caused mainly by chieftaincy, land disputes and ethnic clashes posed a serious threat to security.
The IGP was speaking at a tripartite meeting held at the Police Headquarters between the police administration, National Peace Council and the Eminent Persons Group to discuss pertinent issues bordering on the impending December general elections.
Mr. Quaye observed that Ghanaians were peace-loving people and cited the oneness with which they celebrated the life of the late President Mills during his funeral.
He stressed that the “event did show that Ghanaians are capable of rising above pettiness, divisive tendencies and pride to promote national cohesion” adding that “violence in the true sense of the word is alien or foreign to the Ghanaian cultural environment.”
Giving an overview of the crime situation he said even though the police administration set a 5 percent crime reduction target, it achieved only one percent but said there had been a consistent reduction in crime over the past 3 years.
At the end of 2011, a number of 231,908 crimes were recorded as against 234,242 in 2010. The IGP said special focus was placed on murder, robbery, rape/defilement and possession, use and distribution of narcotic drugs to determine insecurity level of the country.
“In the case of murder, we recorded 422 in 2010 and 423 in 2011 representing a 2 percent increase while robbery registered 1,260 in 2011 as against 1,235 in 2010 also indicating 2 per cent increase. Rape increased by 15 percent in the review while defilement recorded a 4.4 percent increase with narcotic cases decreasing by 11 percent, a good indication that the fight against drug trafficking and drug abuse is succeeding,” he said.
Meanwhile criminal records for the first half of 2012 showed murder cases topping the chart with 35.7 percent. However criminal cases on the whole, dropped by 3.3 percent.
587 robbery cases were recorded in 2011 compared to 559 in 2012 indicating a decrease of 4.8 percent.
In 2011, a total of 297 rape cases were recorded as against 271 in 2012 showing 6.9 percent decrease.
Defilement however recorded a 12.9 percent increase with 905 cases recorded in 2011 as against 1,022 in 2012 while narcotic cases recorded a 10.9 percent decrease.
Prof. Awura Ama Addy, a co-chairperson of the Eminent Persons Group said it was founded by the Ghana Christian Council as a stakeholder in the impending elections to discuss and find solutions to some of the problems related to the polls.
She said the meeting visit was to facilitate a mutual discourse with the police who are mandated to ensure law and order to share views and make some suggestions they considered helpful to the peace process.
Among the eminent persons present were Rev. Fred Deyegbe and Emmanuel Bombade of WANEP among others.