The Liberia National Police has acknowledged the alarming and increased number of armed robbery cases in Monrovia and its environs. Since the imposition of current night time curfew to “buttress the ongoing battle against the deadly Ebola virus disease”, the heinous and terrorizing crime has been on the high increase.
But the Liberia National Police has attributed the foregoing to the recent “freedom” given to pre-trial detainees at the various prisons in the country to avoid the spread of the Ebola virus disease in over-crowded prison cells. Apparently, the list of pre-trial detainees to be released may have been infiltrated with the names of most of the alleged armed robbers.
According to the LNP, most of the armed robbers were reported to be roaming the various communities in “stolen police uniforms and other accessories” terrorizing Liberians while asleep between the hours of one and three in the morning. But at a news conference last week, Police Director Chris Massaquoi assured peaceful residents of Monrovia and other areas of the country that LNP, through the Emergency Response Unit or ERU and Police Support Unit or PSU, would do everything possible to ensure that they sleep in peace. Director Massaquoi also encouraged the reformation of the community watch team to work in collaboration with the police against armed robbery.
Already, the ERU and PSU are seen in motion in number communities during the early morning hours pursuing and re-arresting criminals who infiltrated pre-trail detainees and were causing havoc for peaceful citizens, especially in the municipality of Paynesville where the Police Director and his two deputies live. Whether or not the necessary logistics are now available to the LNP, at least their efforts and presence are being felt.
With whatever they have, the police must prove beyond all reasonable doubts as they have started for the last few days that come what may, they are capable of handling armed robbery situations. As they expeditiously execute the orders of their Director without fear or favor, the necessary logistics may be attracted. While we may not want to praise the men and women in the ‘blue uniforms’ on the field at night and early morning hours, we hope their success will be a result of their harmonious relations with residents of the various communities in Monrovia seriously affected by this heinous crime perpetrated by heartless and drug-addicted criminals.
Such relationship must be on the basis of the timeliness/punctuality of the response of the ERU and PSU to calls by citizens/residents of the affected communities. Moreover, approaching the scenes of the armed robberies with serene is one thing the ERU and PSU must guide against, as such only allow the armed robbers to flee.
As the police strives with whatever they have to battle armed robbery, the cooperation of community dwellers must be manifested in their sincerity. Good neighborliness in communities, i.e., helping to engage the police on behalf those affected by the crime, is another way of showing cooperation with the LNP. With these interactions, citizens and residents of Monrovia and its environs can be assured of peace at night and the early morning hours.