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Police smashes 15 robbery gangs in Bayelsa, nabs 50 cultists

By News Express on 17/05/2018

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•Don N. Awunah
•Don N. Awunah

Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Don N. Awunah, said on Tuesday in Yenagoa that the Command targeted and smashed a cluster of fifteen (15) armed robbery gangs and arrested suspects, recovered arms and ammunition and stolen property, adding that this action has directly reduced crime rate in the State to a tolerable level.

He noted that in the renewed onslaught on cultists, the Anti Cultism Unit (ACU) of the Command arrested over fifty (50) confessed members of different cult groups, some of which have been charged to court while others are undergoing investigation.

According to him, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country has fueled internal insecurity in the country. “It is against this background that the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni directed Commissioners of Police to mop up arms and ammunition in the country.

“In Bayelsa, despite the intervention of the Amnesty Programme, a considerable number of illegal arms and ammunition are in circulation in Bayelsa State. In compliance to the IGPs directive, the Command has been able to mop-up forty-nine (49) illegal firearms in the hands of criminal elements in the State,” he said.

“Drug abuse is one of the major factors that fuels crime. Most criminal acts are perpetrated under the influence of substance. The Command through actionable intelligence and with the cooperation of members of the public has dislodged about fifteen (15) drug peddlers in the State, disrupting their supply chain.

“Similarly, twelve firearms/ammunition of different calibre, narcotics, weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, were recovered from the drug peddlers. We have initiated Inter-Agency collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to further conclude our investigation,” Awunah declared.

He told the media that upon assumption of duty a few months ago, and after a deliberate cursory analysis of the prevalent crimes in the State, the Command introduced Operation Safer Bayelsa (OSB).

“Operation Safer Bayelsa (OSB) as a comprehensive crime reduction strategy was designed as a frontal attack on crime and criminal elements in the State through intelligence-driven policing, proactive policing and coordinated response to distress calls, anchored on community policing principles,” he said, adding, “Indeed the Command has recorded huge gains in this direction.”

According to the Police Commissioner, the Command has enjoyed the tremendous support and assistance from the Governor of the State, Rt. Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, the government and the people of the State whose valuable flow of information on criminal activities has remained critical to “our successes.”

“Also, the creative partnership of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Liberty Organizations (CLOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Eminent Persons Forum, Police Community Relation Committee (PCRC), the Press, Youths and Women groups. Together we were able to surmount the enormous challenges of confronting armed robbers, kidnappers, cultist, drug dealers and mop up arms and illegal weapons from the possession of unauthorised individuals in the state.

“Activities of cult groups and criminal gangs remain the major driver of violent crimes in the State. With the passage of Secret cults/Societies and similar activities Prohibition (Amendment) Law, 2018 by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, the State has further empowered the Police to clampdown decisively on cultist and cult-related violence in the state.

“It is instructive at this juncture to point out that these achievements among many others were possible essentially, due to the guidance, policy direction, logistics support and motivation of the Inspector-General of Police IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, a courageous apostle of democratic policing, an asset to democracy and rule of law.

“The Inspector-General of Police has remained an ardent believer in principles and core values of community policing. A paradigm shift from reactionary-traditional policing, a driver of the change mantra in Police and a crusader in Police reforms,” he affirmed

He advised the people of Bayelsa to continue to avail the Police the necessary support, assistance and understanding since crime control and management is a collective responsibility.

Source News Express

Posted 17/05/2018 12:22:51 PM

 

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