Rokel Village in the Western Area Rural District along the Freetown – Waterloo highway has seen a drastic increase in crime and violence over the past six months. Following the still to be concluded investigations into the mysterious death of two children, whose bodies were found in an unfinished house earlier this year, citizens of Rokel are now being terrorized by armed robbers, without much being done by the Police.
The growing menace has now prompted seemingly helpless members of this community to call on the media to tell their story so that government will intervene and ensure that the security sector and other state security apparatus such as MAC-P, is extended to their area to protect them.
As recent as 28th August, 2019 a group of armed robbers ransacked an area called Kondolor, just outside the main highway in Rokel Village.
Following up on the story, Newswatch first spoke to one Mr. Emmanuel Aiah Mahoney who told us that on the 28th August, 2019 at about 1:00 hours, thieves armed with offensive weapons tried to broke into his house but fortunately for him, one of his boys who was studying for the ongoing private West African Senior Secondary School Exam (private WASSCE) was awake and raised the alarm.
“They were forcibly trying to find their way in, but we tried hard to prevent them from entering. at the same time they were using very obscene languages on us. They finally gave up and went over to our neighbours where they caused mayhem. They vandalised properties, wounded people and carted away plenty properties” he said. Mr. Mahoney added that “Despite our hard efforts to call the police, they arrived but too late because the armed robbers were already gone”.
Mr. Mahoney also expressed his worry about the security situation in their community, adding that a week ago when armed robbers attacked another area in the same community and carted away property worth millions of Leones, calls for Police protection were useless. He called on the government to help secure their community by capacitating the police so that they can keep a robust patrol in the area, especially during the night.
Amadu Sajor Jalloh an unfortunate victim of the 28th August armed robbery incident at Kondolor told NewsWatch that his house and outside shop were forcefully broken into and properties worth over thirty million Leones (Le 30,000,000) stolen.
“They entered into my house unknown to us because we were deeply asleep. I only noticed their presence when I heard one of my brothers in the parlour fighting with them. They cut him heavily with a machete so he gave up the fight” said Mr. Jalloh. He said that he reported the matter to police and two of his brothers who sustained heavy injuries from machetes used by the robbers were issued medical reports, adding that the police are still investigating but are yet to make any headway.
Inspector Lamin Bakar Bangura is the head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Rokel police post. He confirmed to this medium that they received complains of the alleged house breaking incidents from Mr. Amadu Sajor Jalloh, Mr. Emmanuel Aiah Mahoney and two others.
“The allegations they brought forward were house breaking, thefts, malicious damage, wounding with intent amongst others,” Said inspector Bangura. “Statements were obtained from the complainants and those who needed treatment were issued with medical reports, while we continue our investigation” he added.
Inspector Bangura complained that the Rokel Police Post is not equipped enough to respond to some of these night attacks.
“At that time of the night our post is not fully equiped for swift response to arm robbery, except we call for reinforcement on the two flanks, either Jui or Waterloo which would take some time. On the other hand, the community too is not helping at all in terms of community policing and to provide us with intelligence on the activities of some of these criminals and hoodlums,” he said.
NewsWatch will continue to monitor the security situation in and around Rokel Village.