The ‘Father Christmas’ operations mounted by the Accra and the Ashanti Regional Police commands paid off, as no major crimes were recorded in the two regions during the festive period.
In Accra, the Regional Police Command described the operations as very successful, while the Ashanti Regional Police Command received plaudits for living up to expectation, especially in Kumasi, which used to record crimes, some of them violent, during such occasions.
Nonetheless, there were reports of isolated cases of break-ins and bag snatching in some parts of Accra that resulted in some arrests.
The Deputy Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Kwaku Boadu-Pepra, said: “Between December 25 and 31, 2018, there were no violent crimes such as armed robbery, as we only recorded some petty stealing.”
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From precision policing to targeting specific crime and criminals to the protection of lives and property, DCOP Boadu-Pepra said, the command adopted various strategies that worked well.
He mentioned swoops that targeted suspected criminal dens in all the 14 divisions under the Accra Regional Command, intensification of day and night patrols, community engagements to strengthen bonds with communities and sensitisation of the public to security tips as some of the specific strategies the police adopted.
Concerning public engagements, DCOP Boadu-Pepra said the police identified crime-prone areas in the various divisions and held dialogues with the communities on how to deal with the challenges.
“What really helped was the number of police personnel we deployed this year for the ‘Father Christmas’ operation. We had to deploy all our personnel and left very few at the stations and offices,” he said.
On police visibility, he said: “We made sure we covered the region,” adding: “We will continue our day and night patrols because when we relax the criminals, who continue to monitor the operations of the police, will resume their criminal activities.”
He said on December 31, 2018 “we visited all the major churches and we maintained police visibility in the communities from a few hours before midnight until 5:30 a.m. when all the churches had closed and worshippers were safe in their homes”.
He commended the public for cooperating with the police to ensure their safety and security and urged them to continue to support the police by providing information on any suspicious characters in their communities.
From Kumasi, Nana Yaw Barimah reports that the proactiveness of the police in beefing up security put criminals at bay as the people of Kumasi and other parts of the region celebrated the Christian festivities without any major hitches.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Osei-Assibey Antwi, who expressed great satisfaction with the performance of the police, described the situation in Kumasi during the Yuletide as unprecedented and commended the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwasi Mensah Duku, and his team for their effort.
He told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday that it was a delight to see the regional commander personally involved in the operations, adding: “That provided the impetus for his men to work hard to protect lives and properties in the city.”
Over the period, the regional police command deployed hundreds of men on the streets and in the communities to check crime as part of the ‘Father Christmas’ operations.
On December 31, 2018, for instance, there was increased police visibility in Kumasi and other major towns.
According to DCOP Duku, the command was satisfied with the operations and commended the public for their cooperation.
Mr Antwi expressed the hope that the police would continue with their efforts on effective security networking in the metropolis.
He stressed the need for the public to assist the police at all times by providing the police with credible information that could help unravel criminal activities.
‘Father Christmas’ operation
The ‘Father Christmas’ operations are rolled out by the Ghana Police Service every year as a strategy to rid the cities and towns of criminal activities.
The operations are meant to prevent criminal elements from taking advantage of the Christmas period, which is marked with a number of activities, including annual gatherings, church activities, conventions, concerts and trading, especially in the commercial centres.