Dr. Jones Opoku-Ware, a criminologist, has maintained that until the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies make a conscious effort at concentrating on the fight against crime at Kasoa, we could just be dealing with a case of a timebomb ready to explode soon.
He explained that the combinations of a high population, the residential instability of the people there, as well as the peculiar location of Kasoa makes the incidences of crime a major factor to combat there.
The crime researcher whose PhD studies centered on the socio-spatial analysis of crime patterns in some five communities in the country, including Kasoa, explained that in order to understand the peculiar nature of crime patterns there, he had to live with the people for three months.
“I had to come to Kasoa, to live in Kasoa, for about three months, just to observe the place, and observe how these criminal activities operate. In fact, in my studies, I was using a certain theory called social disorganization theory and what it basically says is that, if a particular area, there is high population density, or, there is residential instability – as in people move in and out of the place, or, the population of the place is high, it patterns the kind of crime. So, I had to come live in Kasoa just to observe those variables," he explained.
Dr. Jones Opoku-Ware explained further that Kasoa is a community that is underpinned by very interesting dynamics, making the activities of criminals there easily rampant.
He suggested that going forward, the security agencies must devise more innovative and efficient strategies for combatting the crime that emanates from the place, as well as on the perpetrators of the crimes.
“The dynamics that operate in Kasoa are quite interesting and for me as a criminologist and a crime researcher, the police and our security agencies have to take a lot of precautionary measures when it comes to Kasoa. When you look at issues of residential instability, you know Kasoa lies between Greater Accra and Central and so you see that a lot of the crimes that happen there, we call them transitory crimes. People in Greater Accra can move in and go and do something and come back, and people in Cape Coast, can also move in, go and do something and go back. So, it’s a perfect hideout for criminals to operate," he advised.
Further, he outlined all the reasons he believes Kasoa is a timebomb, awaiting explosion unless something specifically strategic is done to address the gapping incidence of crimes happening there.
He also revealed that from his findings, several of the crimes committed at Kasoa go unreported and eventually unrecorded, making it all too easy for people to continue to use it as a den for perpetuating all kinds of crimes.
Dr. Jones Opoku-Ware spoke with Kwami Sefa-Kayi on Peace FM's Kokrooko on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
“The area is so transitory that they can just pass through, do whatever they wish and then move out. In fact, I analyzed 13 crimes including murder, robbery, rape and all those things and out of the 13 crimes, Kasoa recorded 10 with those kinds of crimes. For instance, when you even check the police data, with what I found out personally from talking with people, you realize that a lot of those crimes that happen in Kasoa are not even recorded by the police so what it means is that, (in criminology, we call something dark figure of crimes), so there is a lot of dark figure on crimes where these guys, the police don’t even know about them. If the police should begin to do a sweep up of Kasoa, trust me, they will find a lot of crimes that have gone on in Kasoa that we are not even aware.
“There are some areas within Kasoa that when it is 8pm, trust me, you will never be able to pass through that area in Kasoa because there are certain elements – I call them gangsters, these guys have created boundaries among themselves in these areas and they exert their own street laws. So, it’s like at this point in time, we control this area and until we give you the permission to pass, you cannot pass
“In fact, most of the interviews I had with people there, were actually people who were committing crimes even as we were having our interview, I mean, people were on drugs. Sometimes, you’d have to even pay them before they begin to tell you things and the saddest aspect of things is that when you even want to talk to the police, it’s very difficult
“I admit they have their own structural constraints as a Service but I think that they should be more up and doing. In my studies and in some my articles, I indicted that Kasoa is a timebomb waiting to explode and therefore it is very very important that our security agencies begin to re-strategize and try to deploy more resources in crime-fighting and containment within the Kasoa enclave especially because of where it lies,” he stated.