A criminologist, Dr. Jones Opoku-Ware has said that the violent nature of the crimes recorded in recent times also feeds into the thinking that there is a spate of insecurity, although the data may not reflect the same.
“Ghana as a country has not been doing very well over the years when it comes to solving crime, especially murders and robberies. I’m doing a certain work where I’m looking at murder cases from 2,000 and trust me, I have chronicled a number of murder cases and as of now, almost 80% of these murders have not been resolved,” the criminologist indicated.
Dr. Opoku-Ware’s comment comes on the heels of what appears to be an increase in crime cases in recent times. On June 14, 2021, armed robbers shot to death a police officer and an eyewitness during a robbery incident involving a bullion van. The fatal incident occurred at Adedenkpo, near Agbogbloshie in Accra.
According to an eyewitness, the police officer, Emmanuel Osei, was providing security for the van while the young lady, Afua Badu, was a bystander who witnessed the incident. The driver of the bullion van is battling for his life at the hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds.
“Once we have such cases at hand, it creates that perception that the society is not safe; the country is not safe. Even though it may not be so but because justice has not been brought to the victim, because those crimes have not been solved over the period, it keeps lingering on the minds of people that we have unsafe situations and therefore we are likely to be attacked,” he said.
Dr Jones Opoku Ware also stated that there has been an evolution in patterns of violent crimes, especially robbery, in the country. He said that robbers have resorted to perpetrating their criminal activities on the streets because they have discovered the vulnerability of individuals outside their homes.
“So now the question you want to ask is why are the criminals preferring to carry out their activities on the streets as opposed to the home where it used to be? Now the answer is very simple: the streets are a place which makes people more vulnerable and now if you look at the way our communities are structured there are a lot of obstacles within our streets , in fact a lot of traffic, people moving in or out,” he said.
In May 2021, President Akufo-Addo at a special congregation at the University of Cape Coast said that criminal cases have declined contrary to what is reported in the media.
But the Crime Researcher suggested that any crime analysis solely based on police data may be misleading and may not reflect the true situation as there may be several unreported or undiscovered crimes that may have taken place in the country.