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Sierra Leone.
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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, As Awareness Times Press comes under Attack... Operation "Press On Rogues"
By Augustine Samba
Feb 7, 2013, 17:12
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In the wake of an unprovoked and as-yet-inexplicable violent attack on the premises and staff of the Awareness Times Printing Press at 45 Easton Street in Fourah Bay, Freetown, the Eastern Division of Sierra Leone Police on Wednesday 6th February 2013 launched a very sanitized and highly professional operation entitled as Operation Press on Rogues which is a special operation intended to track down on all hardcore rogues, criminals, loiterers with intent, pick pockets, armed robbers, drugs-users, and other organized crime syndicates who recently stepped up their activities of terrorizing that operational area.

 

Most notable in the mission is to secure the detention of certain gang leaders whom are now known to be issuing out their followers on hire as thugs. The Awareness Times will shortly, at the right time, be doing a special report on this aspect of Thugs-For-Hire.

 

ASP Kelvin Abioseh Samura: No-nonsense!

 

In an exclusive interview with Assistant Supt. of Police Kelvin Abioseh Samura who is the Operations Officer for the Division, he disclosed that Operation Press on Rogues was a surprise operation which commenced at 5pm and was expected to end in the early morning hours of Thursday 7th February 2013 with follow-up actions planned.

 

He said the operation came into being after the Local Police Partnership Board, Community Safety Volunteers and other stakeholders within the Division noted that criminals of late, have boldly stepped up their offences in the division and were now using offensive weapons to attack, rob, snatch phones, purses, money, hand bags as well as using hard drugs whilst carrying out their felonies.

 

ASP Samura confirmed that the brazen attack on the Awareness Times Printing Press of Tuesday February 5th 2013 by some as-yet-unidentified hoodlums worsened the situation.

 

Press houses in a democratic society must be protected and safeguarded because the freedom of the press to operate reflects level of security in the society; we cant tolerate such brazen violent attack on a press house, ASP Samura said in a no-nonsense mood.

 

From Left to Right: Alie Koroma, Samuel Macauley and Amara Bangura. Alie and Samuel sustained beatings whilst Amara Bangura was given a hefty slap by the cutlass-wielding invaders who attacked the Printing Press

 

The ASP disclosed 108 (one hundred and eight) well-armed personnel were mobilized for the operation with target to dislodge criminals from what he referred to as seven grey areas.

 

The ASP further revealed that working with the community, all zonal commanders were expected to effectively patrol suspected criminals hideouts and arrest everyone found in there on the spot and bring them down for screening to the Eastern Police Station.

 

He went on that based on intelligence gathered so far, venues under the spotlight included C-Unit around Easton Street, Amaraia Spot aka Jungle, Ground Bush and many other areas reported to host gangs.

 

He said, Operation Press on Rogues is not going to end in one day but will continue to be sustained with follow-up actions until those who have made it a habit to lately embolden their gangs in criminality, are curtailed within his operational division.

 

On to last evening as we went to press, 20 suspected criminals were arrested and detained including some whom the police had been seeking for quite some time now. Apart from the 20 who were detained, an even larger number were rounded up but based on screening procedures, some of them were allowed to be bailed with cautions issued to their relatives who bailed them out that they should avoid habiting those criminal dens.

 

Police sources have confirmed that some of those arrested and refused bail last night were found in their gang hideouts in possession of illegal hard drugs, knives and other offensive items. Police further disclosed that all the dens in that division were invaded.

 

Meanwhile, for strategic reasons, the police have asked Awareness Times newspaper not to reveal details of the polices ongoing investigations into the strange attack on our printing press. At around 10pm of Tuesday February 5th 2013, a group of young men heavily armed with huge knives, cutlasses, metal bars and a gallon of petrol suddenly attacked the printing press at 45 Easton Street (residence of late Temne Tribal Headman, KDK) sending all neighbours and bystanders fleeing in panic. They boldly entered the press and started beating up the workers; many of whom fled for their lives. The workers together with area youths later remobilized and forced the thugs away only for the thugs to come back in even larger numbers within just a few minutes smashing the door to the press as they re-entered.

 

Assistant Press Lithographer Alie Koroma and press apprentice Samuel Macauley suffered injuries whilst 2nd Supervisor Printer Amara Bangura received a hefty slap on his jaw.

 

The two injured personnel have been issued with police medical reports whilst the police investigations into this matter are ongoing.

THANK YOU

Awareness Times wishes to use this opportunity to thank the Operational Support Division (OSD) armed wing of the Sierra Leone Police especially Commanders Dumbuya and Conteh and also Night Patrol Officer Sundu for prompt responses to our Tuesday distress call.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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