Leaders of La in the Greater Accra Region have called on the police to intensify the war against drug abuse which they said had reached a disturbing level in the area.
Drug abuse, especially among the youth, according to the leaders, was on the increase.They listed some drugs and substances, including tramodal, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol, as those that were commonly abused and misused by the youth.
At a police-community engagement with the residents of La yesterday, the President of the Coalition of La Associations, Mr Oscar Glover, said the community was worried about the situation because of the negative consequences drug abuse had on individuals, households and the community as a whole.
The police community engagement was one of the ways of seeking joint solutions to the increasing rate of crime in the area, which has been attributed to the upsurge in drug abuse.
Common criminal offences committed in the area include break-ins, assault, domestic abuse, phone snatching, attacks on mobile money vendors, accommodation and other forms of fraud.
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Mr Glover said due to the abuse of drugs, the youth engaged in numerous offensive acts and emphasised that the situation was getting out of hand.
“There are many incidents of lawlessness and drug peddling is going on at many spots. This is why we contacted the police and the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA) to intervene,” he said.
He urged the police to step up their effort and help fight drug and substance abuse.
Addressing the gathering, the La District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police Mrs Anita Abrakwa, said the police had intensified swoops in areas suspected to be the hideouts of criminals and drug peddlers.
She said drug lords and suppliers would be the police's prime targets in the fight “because they are the ones destroying the young ones.”
“In our last swoop, we arrested 18 suspects and they were all processed for court and have been remanded in police custody. We want to combat the scourge,”
Mrs Abrakwa said.
Additionally, she said, the police had embarked on awareness creation activities by visiting churches and using the local radio station to educate the public on the effects of drug abuse.
She urged the youth not to abuse drugs or alcohol and rather join in the fight against crime.
Mrs Abrakwa stated that the fight against crime was a collaborative effort between the public and the law enforcement agencies “and so we urge you all to support the police by providing information on the activities of suspected criminals. They live with you and you know them”.
The Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Affia Tenge, said the community engagement was part of a series of programmes being undertaken by the command as a proactive measure to promote effective policing and help reduce crime in some selected hotspot communities with high crime rates.