Angered by the sound threat posed by knockouts and fireworks among youths in Delta State, the police in Ogwashi Uku community on Thursday arrested 16 persons with 140 packs of knockouts, vowing to ensure that the suspects are arraigned for breach of public peace.
The divisional police officer (DPO) Ogwashi Uku police station, Mr Tobi Debakeme, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects, said as part of efforts aimed at checking the activities of criminals in Ogwashi Uku community, the 16 suspects were arrested with 140 knockouts for fireworks in the community.
He pointed out that “there is ban on fireworks, and the suspects defiled the ban and were throwing them. The police will charge them to court for breach of peace.”
Noting that the ban on the use of fireworks was still in force, the DPO said, “We have come to realize that criminals often use this period when knockouts are blown to perpetuate crime, often they cash in on the fact that the sound of the knockouts and our Ak47s are similar to scare people into believing they are armed with gun”.
He said that the police will ensure that no criminal takes residents unawares, adding that the determination of the police was in line with the directives of the IGP and the police commissioner in the state.
According to the DPO, “We are therefore appealing to parents to corporate with us and ensure that their children keep to this simple warning so that we can give maximum protection to the people during and after festival periods. No person is allowed to shoot knockouts during and after the yuletide celebrations. The police are ready to arrest many who will not want to obey the ban and bring them to book”.
Ogwashi Uku community has been under the siege of criminal activities over the years as no fewer than 76 cases of armed robbery were reportedly recorded in the past eight months in the community.
The divisional police officer (DPO) in the area however assured that the police will do everything possible to ensure the safety of the people and their property.