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Friday, August 21, 2009

Police ‘ban’ motorbikes after 8pm 'to roll back crime'

Perhaps the only motorbikes one may see after 8:00pm
Perhaps the only motorbikes one may see after 8:00pm

The Police Administration is cautioning users of motorbikes they risk 'thorough' interrogation and checks as well as getting them impounded after 8pm.

The measure follows a series of bike-aided crimes across the country and is intended to 'roll back crime'.

Police Driector of Public Affairs, DSP Kwesi Ofori told Joy News’ Evans Mensah the trend of criminal activities in the country informed the implementation of the directive.

“The rate at which motorbikes are being used to commit robberies have necessitated the directive.

“Our position is clear and we will pursue it,” he insisted.

To carry out the directive, DSP Ofori said police patrol teams may impound motorbikes seen during the prohibited time.

Already scores of people have fallen victims to the directive.

John Paul, one of such victims told Joy News, his motorbike, parked in front of his house, was towed away by the police.

Ownership and registration documents he produced failed to stop the police from towing it away, he lamented. Eventually he had to part with an amount of GHc100, upon the insistence of the police at the Kpeshie Divisional police headquarters at Nungua. He claimed the police told him his other option, should he fail to part with the sum, would be to face court, and a stiffer punishment.

Kwesi Fori said if that claim was true, amounted to bribery, a criminal offence also proscribed by the service. He promised investigations.

But human rights advocates have described the police directive as unlawful.

Abdul Basit, a private legal practitioner, said the Police by this new directive have moved beyond their constitutional and traditional role of enforcing laws to making them.

“Law making is not their function. Theirs is to enforce it. To prevent somebody from riding after 8:00pm is rule-making and that is not their function."

Whilst sharing the concerns of the police in fighting crime in the country, he said the law enforcement agency must operate within the confines of the law.

He said if the directive is so crucial for the operations of the service, they should lobby parliament to enact such a law.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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