GANTA, Nimba – Police in Ganta say the city is experiencing an increase in crime, with the city’s population’s growth and limited manpower to blame.
Inspector Larmie Ben of the Liberia National Police made the statement to attendees of a recent forum convened by the Nimba Young Professional Network.
Ben, who is assigned in Ganta, said when the national census was last done in 2008, Ganta had a population of over 41,000, at a time when the road from Monrovia was not yet paved. With the paved road now providing easy access, coupled with the increase in businesses and entertainment centers in Ganta, he said the city is drawing more people.
“People are coming to look for jobs; others are coming from the villages for better education,” Ben said. “As long as the population continues to increase in Ganta, let us expect that the criminal rate will also increase.”
He noted that it was unrealistic to have only 56 police officers to contain the growing population of Ganta, which he estimated to be over 50,000. He said the relatively low ratio of police to residents means that residents are often left with the notion that the police are not doing much to combat crimes because there are news of crimes being committed every day.
Ben said, rather than solely relying on the police, citizens themselves can become involved in fighting crimes. He challenged citizens to report crimes to the police but he said this often does not happen because “the citizens are afraid that when they give information to the police, they will be considered the prime suspect.”
He encouraged citizens to be confident in reporting crimes to the police, adding that the police would “make sure that their names are not exposed” if they are not linked to the crime they are reporting.
There have been some recent high profile crimes in Ganta. On July 12, the Trust Savings Credit Union was burglarized. Months before the incident, criminals made away with the entire safe at the Aminata Filling Station.
On the night of August 1, 2018, a charging booth in the Gbloyee Community was raided by individuals carrying a single barrel rifle. The criminals escaped with cash, cell phones, and scratch cards.
Featured photo by Arrington Ballah