Eighteen armed robbers have been killed during police operations in the Ashanti Region over the last 15 months.
Thirty-nine others were successfully prosecuted and sentenced to jail terms of between ten and 90 years.
Regional Commander, DCOP Augustine Gyening, who revealed this was, however, worried there is no deterring punishment for illegal possession of fire arms.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Regional Visibility and Accessible Department office in Kumasi, Mr. Gyening also announced three police officers were wounded in shoot-outs with armed robbers.
“In the same vein, eighteen (criminals) have fallen as a result of a shootout with police whilst three policemen suffered gunshot wounds. It is our wish to maintain the momentum so as to bring the activities of these armed men robbers to the barest minimum,” he stated.
The event brought the top brass of the police administration, including the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, DCOP Frank Adu, Director General in-charge of Technical, and COP John Kudalor, Director of Operations, among others.
The Ashanti Region has attracted media attention following a series of crime in recent times.
Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on the election petition, security experts have identified the region as one the volatile areas.
In the last few months police presence there has increased, especially, in the capital Kumasi in a bid to ward off criminals.
“The people of Kumasi are very happy to see a lot of police personnel deployed all over the metropolis to oversee their security both day and night,” noted DCOP Gyening.
But in spite of the seeming success so far, the command is worried about the prevalence of hard drugs among criminals and the proliferation of arms in the region.
DCOP Gyening wants a second look at the law that criminalizes illegal firearm possession. He recommended stiffer punishment to deter people from keeping guns without lawful authority.
“The biggest problem facing law enforcement is the easy availability of drugs to criminals and illegal weapons in wrong hands. This is what is fueling the commission of violent crimes all over the place… The punishment I must say is not deterrent enough”, Mr. Gyening observed.