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Approaching Rising Armed Robbery with Vigor

Despite claims by the Liberia National Police that it is on a regular patrol and alert, armed robbery is once more on the increase in Monrovia and its environs. Even though the police may be doing well under unfavorable conditions, residents and citizens of Monrovia and its environs continue to complain about attacks on their homes and persons. For example, the LBS community, Weaver Street-Town Hall Community, as well as Zubah Town in Paynesville City, outside Monrovia, among a few others have been recent targets of armed robbery attacks.

Regrettably, attempts by citizens and residents to seek the intervention of the Emergency Response Unit  or ERU and Police Patrol Unit or PSU responsible to combat crimes in the LNP are most often fruitless. Most times, they arrive at the armed robbery scene when the robbers had already perpetrated the crime and escaped. While the Liberia National Police may be confronted with logistical problems, whatever little can be done to make the presence of the ERU and PSU felt and on time in crimes-prone communities, especially within the Paynesville municipality must be executed in the interest of the security of residents and citizens.

When Police Director Chris Massaquoi recently announced that assigned officers at the various zones and depots would be armed to capacitate the fight against crimes, it was welcomed by many Liberians as a sign of relief, owing to the fact that armless officers could do nothing against crimes such as armed robbery, as well as attacks on their persons. The decision by the LNP would also be very helpful intervention efforts. But to date, it is yet to be publicly known as to whether or not such decision as announced by Director Massaquoi has been executed.

While we do believe in the human dignity of these perpetrators of armed robbery against peaceful and law-abiding citizens and residents of Paynesville and other affected municipalities across the country, their heartless and unconscious criminal attitudes of not only stealing, but raping, maiming and torturing at the barrel of the gun continue to remain incomprehensible and beyond normal human imagination.  In view of the foregoing, the urgent need for the most drastic measures under the auspices of the Emergency Response Unite and Police Support Unit cannot be over-emphasized.

Furthermore, it is also incumbent on community residents and dwellers to network (in neighborhoods) whenever they suspect armed robbery incidents by telephone calls and other means to other neighbors to discourage the commission of such heinous crime. Community members must also bare on mind that “when a neighbor’s house is on fire”, they must all ensure the best and fastest solution as possible to remedy the situation, while at the same time, awaiting the intervention of the police.

The people can only hope that the Liberia National Police will be fully capacitated through the necessary logistical means, including the armament of the ERU and PSU, to guarantee security of Liberians against armed robbers and other criminals. We can also only hope that the current draft budget is considering an increase in the allotment of the LNP for the acquisition of logistics and provision of other incentives for the officers in the field.

One major challenge to the members of the Legislature-the direct Representatives of the Liberian people, is to ensure the people’s security-through the Liberia national Police. And such could be done by carefully re-examining the budget of the police as presented by the budget committee headed by the Ministry of Finance and making the adjustments where necessary for the security of the people they represent.

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