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Bolgatanga Municipal Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Samuel Punobyin, has defended the Ghana Police Service (GPS), saying the police do not charge a fee before granting suspects bail, rather self-styled ‘bail contractors’ in the municipality should be blamed for any money given for bail.

He has cautioned members of the public to desist from paying money to get bail for suspects in police custody, stressing that it is a crime for a police officer to demand money before granting a bail.

“It is equally a crime for anyone to also give money in exchange for a bail for a suspect. The one who gives and the one who takes are all liable of committing a crime and can be arrested,” Chief Superintendent Punobyin cautioned.

He was speaking on the topic: ‘Strengthening Police Citizenry Relationship’ at Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly’s Second Ordinary Meeting.

According to Chief Superintendent Punobyin, some persons in the Bolgatanga Municipality have familiarised themselves with the various police stations in the area and have mastered the act of extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public under the guise of paying a fee to the police to get bail for suspects.

He said these people loiter around police stations and have made it their job to look for people who have cases at the police stations and then take advantage of their ignorance of bail procedure to extort money from them and pretend to be giving it to the police.

Touching on other crimes in the municipality, Chief Supt. Punobyin disclosed that petty stealing and burglary “are still going on, especially in residential areas in the regional capital”, which is creating fear among residents.

He said recent cases reported to the police have revealed a worrying trend, where the thieves are stealing petty things that do not warrant the risk and danger they expose themselves to when they enter people’s homes.

Chief Supt. Punobyin mentioned affected areas such as Bolga-Estate, Zaare, Yikene and Sumbrumgu, where a lecturer had almost all his property stolen during a short period he was away from home.

The situation, according to him, is coming at a time when motorbike snatching and highway robberies in the Bolgatanga Municipality have reduced drastically due to police patrols and other measures.

Chief Supt. Punobyin has advised the public to be one another’s keeper and not hesitate to ask people they suspect questions, adding that “thieves now steal, soup, stew and even drinks and freely to walk away because people don’t ask questions and don’t take time to familiarise with members of their communities.”
Source: Daily Guide

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