The Ghana Police Service has technically been on a state of war with land guards and armed robbers. The newly appointed Greater Accra Regional Commander in his important engagement with stakeholders last week since assuming the hot seat, announced that his outfit is mounting a total war against the hoodlums.
We are ordinarily not excited but take solace in the possibility that perhaps he has something up his sleeves which would make a difference to the status quo.
Unless there is going to be a departure from the nightly patrols and snap checkpoints or what we are used to witnessing, we should have cause not to smile that the criminals are about to be wiped out. The logistics are still not up to scratch and the character of some cops still leaves much to be desired.
While we welcome DCOP/Mr George Alex Mensah to the hot seat of the Greater Accra regional command, haven of land guards, we wish to tell him what he already knows – being an old fox in the law enforcement industry.
The land guard phenomenon is deeply entrenched in Accra; the insatiable demand for land and readiness of many to patronize the criminals – being the impetus for the industry’s sustenance.
It is a complex industry with some bad law enforcement agents knee-deep involved. Some of these bad nuts are in the pockets of these land owners and so would not do what is required of them as law enforcement officers that being the condition for their remuneration.
It stands to reason therefore that the fight against land guards cannot be won unless a new template replaces what is being applied currently.
Those assigned the task of fighting the criminals should periodically be vetted to find out if they have not been bought over by the criminals and their assigns. It is a fact that law enforcement agents who prove too difficult are soon lured with money by the criminals and it mostly works.
The war against land guards should be a holistic effort involving all germane state agencies especially the Lands Commission, Survey Department and others with a dependence on intelligence being a cornerstone.
It would not be a bad idea to establish an anti-land guard agency made up of personnel from the aforementioned agencies and the Police.
It is shameful that the current picture points at the land guards holding sway in a country ruled by law. Land guards are able do as they wish as though they have overpowered the awesome authority of the state. It has been so for so long and we wonder what we have been doing all these years as these hoodlums are supported to acquire arms by educated persons, sometimes estate developers, to prosecute their criminalities.
People have lost their lives and others maimed in their efforts to protect their properties. The situation is so bad that many citizens in Accra have lost faith in the law enforcement agency’s ability to render them support under the circumstances.
The efforts of the regional commander in subduing land guards would come to naught unless it is supported by related agencies under a common umbrella and put on a war footing with a special budget.