The Accra Regional Police Command has declared war on land guards whose activities create insecurity in the region.
It said lawlessness and indiscipline on the part of individuals who, under the guise of protecting their lands, mobilised young men and resourced them with all kinds of offensive weapons to cause mayhem and terrorise innocent people immensely undermined law and order.
The newly appointed Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr George Alex Mensah, made this known when he led a four-member delegation to pay a familiarisation visit to the offices of the Daily Graphic, the flagship newspaper of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), in Accra last Tuesday.
Other members of the delegation were the Operational Commander of the Accra Regional Police Command, Chief Superintendent Kwesi Ofori; Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) William Asare, the Regional Staff Officer, and the Public Relation Officer, ASP Efia Tenge.
Mr Mensah said the activities of land guards had, on numerous occasions, resulted in mayhem, leading to the loss of precious lives and property, saying they were particularly employed in some communities within the Greater Accra Region where chieftaincy disputes were rife.
Two major crimes
The police commander said the land guard menace and armed robbery were now the two major crimes in the metropolis, hence the command had devised strategies to deal with them decisively.
He said developers in Accra were worried over the activities of land guards who had devised various means to extort money from developers.
Mr Mensah said some land guards carried arms which they used to intimidate developers to extort what he called digging fee, blocks fee, roofing fee and wall fee from land owners, depending on what developers were engaged in at the time of the visit by the land guards.
He said the Accra Police Command, with support from the National Command, had put in place mechanisms to bring the menace under control, if not eliminate it completely.
He warned that the raising of any armed force in this country was the prerogative of Parliament, as stipulated in Article 210 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, and as such no person shall raise an armed force except by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament.
He, however, advised the public to seek redress on any piece of land in dispute at the relevant land management office, such as the Land Title Registry and the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL) or take civil action at the law courts.
“In cases of trespassing, which may be a criminal offence, a complaint could be lodged with the police for necessary action, instead of taking the law into one’s own hands,” he said.
Mr Mensah said the police could not win the war alone and, therefore, called on the media to support the police in the fight against crime and other social vices.
He said the media, being the Fourth Estate of the Realm, played a critical role in national development and it was important that they partnered the police in the performance of their duties to maintain law and order.
Source: Daily Graphic