The Latest Upsurge in Armed Robbery Just about the time the rainy season is driving in, there are reports of an increase in armed robbery incidents in Monrovia and its environs.
Of late, the Township of Barmnersville and Paynesville have become the principle targets of attacks, with the robbers having ‘feast days’. A few weeks ago, the Kebba Community in Barnersville was on the radio
station and front pages of newspapers with reports of attacks andvictimization of some residents. Just on early Monday morning, several communities of Paynesville – Police Academy, Voker Mission, Weaver Street/City Hall Community, as
well as 12-Houses, were invaded by unknown men and women armed with guns, cutlasses and other weapons. The criminals are reported to have burst into homes, terrorized and raped several of their victims – of course, making away with their
belongings, cash and other valuables.
It is no secret that the Liberia National Police may be finding it
difficult to intervene, especially when alerted by community
residents. Normal police patrols in and around the city of Monrovia
and its environs, are hardly felt in communities and neighborhoods as they were a few years ago. And as a result of the inability of the police to ensure public safety, especially at night and early morning hours – the time of the commission of these heinous crimes, community dwellers may just find solutions to such insecurity presently eluding them as a necessary option until – probably, the Liberia National Police can once, again, be capacitated.
But again, there is another side of such community-based approach to public safety – lack of coordination and mob justice by those charged with the responsibility to ensure the security of the communities. The
malice and animosity harbored by community residents may not allow them to employ the necessary and acceptable measures as required by community policing in dealing with criminals, especially armed robbers.
This is why the police – though not well capacitated, must again the national community policing forum and various communities in guiding the process of ensuring the safety of the various communities.
Moreover, as the rainy season emerges, the Government of Liberia must now bend backward to identify additional resources to directly fund the police as a way honoring one of its Constitutional responsibilities.
It is no secretary that the Liberia National Police is current ‘handicapped’ by logistical problems – no patrol/operation vehicles, no incentives as a motivation for the men and women in the streets and communities; no encouraging salaries for personnel of the police force.
Perhaps, in additional to whatever the government can make available, partners’ intervention could also save the day. The government could constructively engage its international partners and seek assistance purposively for the police; and these include vehiocles, effective communication and other logistics.
And no doubt, with the availability of these to the police, Liberian communities could assured of complete safety.