HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE ANTI ARMED ROBBERY SQUAD
The Anti Armed Robbery Squad of the CID-Headquarters was formed in September 1981. Considered a baby clamoured for and brought forth by the former president, H.E FLT. LT. Jerry John Rawlings following the shape increases of armed robbery activities few weeks after 31st December, 1981 Revolution.
The Unit carried out the sole mandate of counteracting armed robbery activities which was prevalent in the major cities of the country particularly Accra and Tema.
Hard core trainees of the Notorious Nigerian armed robber, Anini were vigorously pursued, arrested and successfully prosecuted, convicted and accordingly sentenced either to death or term of imprisonment.
Notorious Peter Kofi Afragadzi @ Foofo, then using tree top in a bushy area behind the runaway at Airport and his nine other gang members were uncovered to hold meetings and planned their activities under a hollow covert at Achimota. They robbed a Forex Bureau operator at Nima and also robbed and killed a German National at Dome. All gang members were arrested, successfully, prosecuted and sentenced to death. Currently serving commuted life imprisonment at Nsawam Prisons.
Another gang of eight armed robbers led by notorious Chorkor Spanner and German Cargo were arrested over involvement in series of robberies in Accra, convicted and executed by Firing Squad.
A gang of eight(8) led by Vicent Avivor and Madecine Ackon then operating as pirates and Domestic armed robbers involved the infamous robbery and killing of a Lufthansa Flight Engineer at Tema C5 were busted and were serving a commuted Life sentence at Nsawam.
Having operated for three (3) decades – 1981 to 2004, the Unit’s mandates was reviewed and it was renamed Violence Crime Unit with expanded function covering general crime investigation. Then arose the notorious robbery gang of ten (10) led by Nii Odoi Pattison @ my Lord) @ Shabba, specialized in the attack of Filling Stations. The Unit was rejuvenated under the former name, Anti-Armed Robbery Squad. Personnel previously with the Unit and still serving elsewhere on transfers were posted back to the CID-Headquarters to form the rejuvenated Squad.
The rejuvenated Unit busted the notorious Nii Odoi Pattison and his gang members and are serving tems of imprisonment.
The AARS has in its history been commanded by the following SPO’s:
i. ASP. Nana Owusu Prempeh
ii. ASP. Mr. K. Dzakpata
iii. SUPT. Mr. S. K. Zidah
iv. SUPT. Mr. D. A. Osei [SYKA]
v. ACP. Mr. Paul Apreku
vi. C/SUPT. Mr. BM Nkelebea
vii. DSP. Mr. E. O. Annang
viii. ASP. Mr. I. F. Amponsah
ix. DSP. Mr. Kofi Boakye
x. C/SUPT. Mr. Ben Mensah
xi. SUPT. Wonder K. Dogbevia
The main mandate or core duties of the Unit include investigation of robbery cases, possessing of firearms and ammunition without lawful excuse, use of authorized weapons for land guard activities and any other cases that are referred to the Unit by the Police Administration.
The Unit as part of its crime prevention mechanism embarks on night patrols. It also collaborates with the intelligence Unit and other Units to periodically carry on swoops at some notable crime prone areas as well as the Anti Terrorism within Civilian facilities in Accra.
The Unit updates the Administration of various modus of operation employed by perpetrators of all facets of Robbery and cars snatching for public education. It also undertakes swoops at suspected den of criminals in collaboration with the intelligence and other units as crime prevention mechanism. The unit also assists local police stations in investigating cases of violence outbreak relating to chieftaincy and land dispute.
Over the period, the Unit on the average investigated ten (10) cases of high profile robbery annually. About (5) of such cases annually are successfully prosecuted with perpetrators convicted and sentenced to custodial punishment of between three (3) years often for conspiracy to commit robbery and 10 to 100 years for robbery.
Currently, there is relative peace in the communities from Armed Robbery activities. Citizens can go about their normal activities in peace without fear. The unit has lately successfully won about 50% conviction leading to the long term incarceration of 30 or more culprits. It is also holding in custody for trial about 25 accused persons mainly on robbery, thus bringing the menace under control. Bio data/profile of suspects handled at the unit including their fingerprint and photographs captured on database.
Intends to review sitreps on Robberies Nationwide, analyse them and advice operational/patrol units on trends/phenomenon and modus of operation as well as strategies to combat them.
Continue to develop database for all suspects involved in Robbery, cars snatching and possessing of firearms.
Extend and intensify patrols/ surveillance at robbery prone areas and bring into focus possible terrorist threat zones.
When the above targets are pursued, Robbery and other violence crimes would be reduced even drastically.
The Unit appeals to the general public to furnish them with reliable information about the movements off people within the vicinity suspected as criminals.