I always thought I didn’t startle easily but when I awoke three weeks ago to find a naked man crouching by my bed, not only was startled, I have been living in fear since. We live in a fairly safe neighbourhood. We have our share of petty thievery, but everyone has taken extra measures for their security.
Ours is almost a prison, the walls are high, with things over them, the doors have bars behind them and the compound is well-lit. So the last thing I expected to find in my bedroom was a knife-wielding man. But this guy had hacked off one of the bars in the burglar-proof for one of the windows and crept in to terrify me. I don’t remember much but I do recall a lot of screaming, calling the police and staying up all night.
By the time Police arrived, six minutes after the call, (Yes the police were quick and effective, rare I know.) the naked man had crept out of the window with my laptop and left his clothes. The police insist he shed his clothes to enable him to slip through the space he had created. You’d think with the clothes and tools, this man left behind the police have a lot to go on.
Yet my checks at the police station suggest that I may never get closure. Which means I will forever be suspicious of lanky young men walking up to my street. The Police say they do not have any data to compare the thief with. Instead, they asked that I alert them whenever the person I suspect shows up. And oh, improve my security at home. (As if living like a prisoner isn’t enough)
As ridiculous as it sounds, I am not the only one who has had this answer from the police. But I do not blame them, the Inspector General of Police recently expressed concern about unresolved murders and the increasing crime rate. Ghana’s police service is poorly equipped and understaffed. I don’t know how the IGP expects his men who do not have a proper data bank to close murder cases.
I’d like to tell the IGP, the Minister of Interior and the men on the campaign trail, that Ghana isn’t as safe as they claim. I have done enough to improve my security, but I do not feel safe. I should not live like a prisoner in my own country, especially when I pay the state to protect me.