The Upper West Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has begun sensitisation and formation of neighbourhood watchdog committees in selected communities to help beef up security in the Region.
The move is necessitated by recent upsurge in armed robbery cases in the country’s smallest region, an action that has caused general insecurity among the people.
Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, the Upper West Regional Minister, speaking during the sensitisation and formation of one of the committees at Bamahu in the Wa Municipality, expressed the hope that the establishment of the committees would help the police to maintain law and order in the area.
The committee would only be effective with the support of community members, he said, and appealed to them to volunteer information about suspected criminals to the committee members so that they could, together with the police, deal with it.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Otchere Boapea, the Upper West Regional Police Commander, described the Bamahu Community as a very sensitive place, saying students of the University for Development Studies were being robbed all the time despite police regular patrols.
The criminals, he said, lived among the community members and stressed the need to volunteer information on their nefarious activities to enable the committee to deal with them.
DCOP Boapea said if community members gave their unflinching support to the committees, they could be very useful tools for the police to rely on to check the activities of the criminals and flush them out.
Superintendent Huseini Musah Awinaba, the Upper West Regional Crime Officer, reminded community members that the formation of watchdog committees was not done by tribe, party, region or family considerations but rather by loyalty, trustworthiness and commitment to the welfare of the community.
He stressed the need for community members to do proper background checks to establish member’s trustworthiness before selecting them into the committees.
Naa Abudu Adama, the Bamahu Naa, called for the necessary police backing for effective operations of the committee, adding that without that support, it would be difficult for the committee to function effectively as expected.
The sensitisation and formation of the committees also took place at Boli, Poyentanga and Nyoli in the Wa Municipality.