From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris has deployed two special squads to Bayelsa State to fight crime.
The deployment of the teams, made up of specially trained policemen involved in crime fighting, is to complement efforts of the state Commissioner of Police, Asuquo Amba.
The upsurge of crime and criminal activities, including armed robbery attacks on business premises and private residences, kidnapping and cult-related killings were parts of factors that prompted the IGP order.
Investigations revealed that influx of criminals from Rivers and Delta states into Bayelsa state had heightened insecurity with residents of Yenagoa, the state capital, calling for an increased police patrol in strategic locations.
Amba, who confirmed the deployment of the special squads from Force Headquarters during the parade of suspected armed robbers, kidnappers and suspected cultists at the command headquarters, said the police are ready to ensure crime and criminals do not thrive in Bayelsa during the yuletide season.
According to him, the crime fighting strategies put in place by the police have yielded fruits with the arrest of suspected criminals and recovery of arms.
He lamented the possession of firearms and proliferation of small light weapons in the state, noting that the police would continue to clamp down on individuals behind the trend.
Amba also condemned the increase in cult-related activities and pleaded with parents and guardians to check their children and wards so they won’t be influenced to join bad gangs.
“We have identified the major crimes in Bayelsa, such as cultism, rape, armed robbery and recently unlawful possession of firearm due to proliferation of small light weapons.
“We have stemmed the tide of cultism in schools through sensitisation programmes and campaigns. Breeding grounds of cult related activities in Yenagoa have been identified and teenagers were discouraged from hanging out in such locations. “Parents and guardians have been advised to warn their wards from visiting such locations.”
Meanwhile, gunmen have abducted traditional ruler of Ayakoro community in Ogbia Local Government Area and the principal of the technical college located in the community.
Sources in the community said the gunmen stormed the community at the weekend in a speed boat and went to the houses of their targets, whisked them away to the waterside and escaped.
The matter was said to have been reported to the Ogbia Division, but Amba said the police are yet to be briefed on the issue.
People in the community are apprehensive on the situation as the kidnappers have not made any contact with the family members.