The joint security and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) Monitoring Team have arrested and detained a total of 73 children who were found selling in and around the various markets and transport terminals in the metropolis.
The team arrested 32 of these children at the Central Business District of Takoradi while the remaining 41 were arrested at the Kojokrom Market and environs.
The arrested children are aged between 9 and 17 years and were hawking foodstuff and other items.
For those arrested at Kojokrom, they were detained at the Kojokrom Methodist Church while those arrested in Takoradi were sent to the All Saint Anglican Church.
Before the Monday, March 30 exercise, the Sekondi-Takoradi Mayor Anthony KK Sam, at a news conference to announce measures to prevent the metropolis from recording any Coronavirus case, mentioned that a monitoring team has been set up to arrest children who will be found selling.
“In the wisdom of the President and his advisors, schools have been closed down in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The closure is to prevent the school children from contracting the disease. So, we expect the children to be indoors as much as possible. Once the children are out on the streets selling, then the President’s drive against the coronavirus is defeated because the children become exposed. We know it is going to be difficult for some of the parents. But the end results will be of immense benefit to all of us,” the MCE had said.
Minutes after the arrests, scores of parents trooped to the two holding centers and pleaded for clemency for their wards.
In an interview with 3news.com, Public Relations Officer of STMA John Laste said particulars of the children who were arrested and their parents were taken and were cautioned before release.
“What we told the parents [is] that if their children are arrested for the second time, they will be arraigned before court. A good number of them pleaded and said they will take the warning serious. The team will continue the operation [on Tuesday] at the other markets within the metropolis. It will continue until there is a high level of compliance,” he said
He added that the team will also ensure enforcement of directives on public gatherings, closure of beaches, provision of handwashing facilities and compliance of social distance at the banks, restaurants, transport terminals and all other institutions.