The residents of Nkrankrom, a cocoa growing community in the Sunyani Municipality have appealed to the Police Administration for a Police station to control rising crime in the area.
Mr Hayford Kumah, the Assemblyman for Nkrankrom Electoral Area, who made the appeal said the population had increased, thereby contributing to rise in petty thefts and stealing in the community.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the side-lines of a community forum on the Community Service Sentencing Bill (CSS Bill), Mr Kumah said the police station was especially needed to help control drug abuse and the peddling of Indian hemp among the youth in the area.
The CSS Bill is an alternative to custodial sentences for convicted offenders of certain types of offences.
When passed into law, the Bill, which is currently at the Attorney General’s (AG’s) office would see offenders rendering unpaid public work within a community for a period not exceeding the term of imprisonment for which the Court would have sentenced them.
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), a non-governmental organisation with support from Save Our Environment Foundation (SEF) and its local partners organised the forum, under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Justice Sector Support Activity (JSS).
Mr Kumah lauded the CSS Bill but added that public education about it must be intensified for Ghanaians to understand the concept and support the advocacy for its passage into law.
On other challenges confronting the community, the Assemblyman expressed concern about poor roads, lack of public toilets and potable drinking water and appealed for support.
As a cocoa growing community in the Municipality, Mr Kumah said roads linking the 10 adjoining communities in the area required urgent rehabilitation works to facilitate the movements of the people and their economic activities.
He added communities such as Febre, Tanoano, Beposo, Kofikrom and Bungalow needed mechanised boreholes to improve on their water situation.
Mr Kumah said he was worried the people in those communities depended on streams and rivers for drinking water and other domestic purposes and appealed to the Municipal Assembly, non-governmental, charitable, and corporate organisations and philanthropists to come to their aid.
Earlier, Mr Collins Osei, the Executive Director of SEF who took the residents through the CSS Bill noted the passage of the Bill was long overdue and expressed the hope the AG would expedite action on its passage into law.