The Sampa District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Joseph Quainoo, has advised the general public to be critically mindful of their localities in order to detect criminal activities there.
According to him, vigilantism and other forms of crime threatens the security of every society and needed to be reported to the police for prompt attention.
DSP Quainoo spoke during a youth sensitisation forum at Sampa in the Jaman North District of the Bono region.
The forum themed “Secessionist Movement, National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation in Governance” was part of a nationwide programme being organised and funded by the Ministry of National Security in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
DSP Quainoo stated that “vigilantism is illegal, as stipulated in the Vigilantism Act 2019, Act 999 and offenders are liable to not less than 10 years jail term without the option of a fine”.
He pointed out that vigilantism, whether being promotion or funding is a second degree felony and attracts a minimum prison term from 10 to 15 years.
“Those found in the act with offensive weapons also attract a jail term of 15 years minimum and 25 years maximum,” DSP Quainoo added.
The Bono Regional Security Coordinator, Major Retired (rtd.) Osei Agyemang, in a presentation said the project is very crucial since intelligence gathered has revealed that terrorism is real.
He said the forum is to educate and empower Ghanaians, especially people in the various boarder districts to stand and collectively ensure national cohesion and peaceful co-existence.
The Bono Regional Security Coordinator expressed confidence in the project, stressing “it will create the awareness particularly among the youth on the negative effects of secessionism and its related violence that could impede national growth”.
He, therefore, encouraged community participation in detecting activities of secessionist and vigilante groups since it is a civic responsibility for citizens.
Major Rtd. Agyemang further implored churches to get immensely involved in sensitising their congregations on security issues and how to give clear and brief suspicious information to the security agencies for immediate action.
The Bono Regional Director of National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Doris Gbongboh, disclosed that the next stop for the forum is the Banda District.
She said the awareness creation including radio programmes will be done from now until the end of 2021 mostly in communities with mixed ethnic groups.