The return of Abraham Kromah to the Liberia National Police as Deputy Director for Operations appears to have brought great relief to many Monrovia residents, particularly business people as the no nonsense deputy police chief has begun to raid criminals from various street corners and hideouts in and around the city.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf recently appointed a new Inspector General of Police, Col. Gregory Coleman, replacing Col. Clarence Chris Massaquio and reappointed Col. AB Kromah, who previously served as deputy director for operations.
Less than two weeks in office, the Police under Col. AB Kromah (as he is affectionately known) have begun going after criminals in their various hideouts. In the criminally infested Redlight Community, residents said on Monday, criminals commonly referred to as “Zokos”’ were seen running helter-skelter from the Police.
Police Spokesperson Inspector Sam Collins said the operation is geared at keeping the city clear of criminals who roam the streets under the pretext of begging for alms which their real motive is to steal from any member of the public who fall prey to their plan.
“We started the process of removing these people from the streets and we removed many people even yesterday. We will continue until the streets are cleared of these criminals”, Collins said. He disclosed that several communities have complained about the activities of these individuals, so the Police are working to make the city and its environs safe and peaceful.
“The process of removing these criminals from the street will continue until the people can have peace”, Inspector Collins added. He said the Police have not received specific complaint about Randall Street, but the situation is being dealt with holistically.
Meanwhile, residents and owners of businesses on Randall Street in Monrovia have complained of lack of safety for themselves and their businesses due to attacks from criminals both day and night.
S residents, who spoke to this paper on Wednesday, September 28, said they are finding itdifficult to live in peace as a result of criminalsroam the various streets, looking for opportunity to attack and snatch personal belongings of people.
A Lebanese merchant, who said he did not want to be identified for fear that if quoted in a newspaper, his business could be more at risk to those he referred to as Randall Street Boys said, customers are afraid to even visit stores along Randall Street, mainly towards the beach during day because they fear that they could be attacked anytime by criminals. “People are afraid to walk on this street and when they think about buying to carry their goods, they do not venture here, because the criminals are all around the street, pretending that they are begging but they are looking for opportunity steal”, the merchant said.
The Lebanese merchant also explained that even people, who disembark their vehicles on Randall Street, are often surrounded by criminals, who pretend they are begging for hand-outs, but in the end, they are on the alert to steal.
Even tires and other parts of vehicles belonging to customers who parked in the streets are sometimes stolen by criminals, another merchant said. “People are afraid to even park their cars here because by the time you come from buying in any of the stores, your tire or view mirror is gone”, one merchant lamented.The merchant continued “Our customers are afraid to come here because when they even get down from the vehicles more than five people are around you begging for money, it is so embarrassing.”
By Ethel A. Tweh