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Editorial

Rising Crime Rate: Where Is the Liberia National Police Currently?

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A few weeks ago, we raised the issue of the high crime rate currently across Liberia, especially Monrovia and its environs, but the issue seemed not to have attracted the attention of the Liberia National Police.

As the media and residents continue to report incidents of crimes, including armed robbery, the question about the current role of the police – the Emergency Response Unit or ERU and Police Support Unit or PSU – remains on the lips of victims and other residents of the affected communities across the country.

 

While this question remains practically unanswered by the hierarchy of the Liberia National Police, armed men continue to terrorize and raid communities. Just last weekend, Sinkor in Monrovia, Bomi and Margibi Counties, as well as the City of Paynesville became targets of notorious armed robbers during the early morning hours making away with valuables, including cash, lap-tops, phones, as well as jewelry, among others, painfully brutalizing their victims.

For example, the weapons-carrying criminals, early last Saturday morning raided the communities of Zinnah Hill (GSA Road), Duport Road and Weaver Street just within the environment of the Effort Baptist Church without the intervention of the Liberia National Police, despite several attempts – a situation about which the National Community Watch Forum has already alarmed.

The uncontrollable crimes are occurring a few months following the replacement of Colonel Abraham Kromah as Deputy Police Director for Operations. It is no secret that armed robbery and other crimes were suppressed under Colonel Kromah’s command as head of police operations.

His replacement may appear to be greeted by a resurgence of crimes, especially armed robbery, prompting the question of the whereabouts of the once robust Liberia National Police in the wake of the current increasing rate of crimes across the country.

With no doubts, the public and victimized community may be dire need of redress to the heinous brutality, restlessness and theft they suffer at the hands of drug-driven and heartless undesirable individuals at midnight and early morning hours every day without police intervention.

Interestingly, LNP patrols in communities are either scarce or not visible at all, while attributions are made to the lack of logistics at the various police stations/zones and depots.

We join the National Community Watch Forum in raising this alarm to, again, attract the attention of the hierarchy of the police so as to restore hope and peace to these affected communities. We think some urgency must be given to the sweeping wave of crimes on certain streets/environments in Monrovia and elsewhere affected by night thefts (snatching away of phones and other personal effects) and armed robbery.

We are of the strongest conviction that the failure/inability of the Liberia National Police to respond to the rising crimes may result to self-defense and other forms of protective mechanisms in the affected areas and other communities – measures that may not augur well for our society.

Towards this direction, we also seek the intervention of the Ministry of Justice as head of the Joint Security of Liberia, in terms of instituting the Joint Security Operations to buttress whatever capacity the LNP may have in combating the current high rate of crimes in the country. While we so do, the need for the urgent attention of the Liberian Chief Executive cannot be over-emphasized.

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