Not only does it occur during the night, but it has become difficult when one arrives even during the day, to use the various routes of the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to various destinations- just because of the crime rate.
Over the years, the increase in crime activities at Circle in Accra has made the place unsafe for many pedestrians and commuters.
Circle is the centre of Accra and a transit area for many people travelling to various parts of the country including Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale.
Many people often trade in a variety of items at Circle. And what one usually sees being traded along the various pavements and streets includes mobile phones, laptops, tablets, iPad and other devices.
Again many commuters have been known to participate in ‘swapping’. And this is the word used to describe the means by which an individual exchanges an object, usually his phone for money or another advanced phone.
And many have fallen victim to the swapping deal as they end up receiving fake phones for their genuine ones. And this is done in the open- day and night.
Is there a way to curb this growing ‘swapping’ menace besides the usual thefts, pickpockets and snatching of bags which occurs daily at the Circle?
In a recent discussion with a leader of an Anti-Crime Taskforce at Circle (he pleaded anonymity in this interview with the Ghana News Agency), he said the crime rate at Circle is on the rise and neighbourhood committees, like his, have been created to curb the menace.
He said the crimes are perpetuated by outsiders though some have also pointed accusing fingers at the neighbourhood boys to be committing such crimes.
He said before a neighbourhood committee is created, a letter is delivered to the Crime Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service at Tesano for training.
This, he said, usually lasts for over two years and the names of members of the committee are screened, and other processes including pictures and finger printing are undertaken.
He said during the training process, there are made to understand that they can only cause an arrest when the crime is being committed right in front of them.
And this is different from the mandate of the police who has the right to effect an arrest even on an allegation.
He said they have also embarked on several operations to retrieve valuable items and monies for various crime victims but this is based on the information or report from the victim.
He said since it is an election year, one of their main duty is to contribute their quota to safeguard the area for all traders and commuters and that any form of support to help them in their efforts would be greatly appreciated.
He urged the public to avoid engaging in the services of guys who stand on the pavements to sell phones or other devices because they cannot often be easily located or traced after such sales are made.
He said commuters willing to engage in a trade should go to a well located shop to undertake the needed transaction.
He said people who participate in an obviously unbelievable deal with any of such guys, trading on the pavements, should the deal go bad, such people could as well be described as victims of their greed.
With an earnest desire to reduce and eventually stop criminal activities, he called on the Greater Accra Regional Police Command for support to enable them continue their line of action.
By Kwamina Tandoh