Community Policing Unit of the Gambia Police Force on Thursday 21st September
2017 sensitised the community of Brufut on community policing.
The event, which attracted scores of participants from a cross section of the youth and elders of Brufut, was organised by the Community Policing Unit, in collaboration with Human Rights Unit, Complaint and Discipline Unit and the Press and Public Relations Office of the Gambia Police Force.
The Alkalo of Brufut village, Alh Ma-Lamin Manneh, who welcomed the participants and guests, expressed profound gratitude to be associated with such an educative and productive event.
According to him, such events would raise awareness among members of communities and the country as a whole. He then appealed to the office of the Inspector General of Police, through the visiting team to embark on more nationwide sensitisation programmes and events like the one held in Brufut.
In addressing the gathering, the officer commanding Community Policing Unit, Superintendent Lamin Jaiteh, stressed the need for community policing to be re-enforced and strengthened in the community.
He tasked communities to establish community policing structures for its implementation at the grassroots.
According to him, community policing is one of the surest ways of making The Gambia a crime-free country.
He underscored the need for the community to share timely and relevant information with the Police.
This, according to him, is vital in combating crime and criminal activities.
The Community Policing Commander, Jaiteh, also used the opportunity to encourage other communities to emulate communities like Farafenni and Brufut in the fight against crime.
For his part, the Imam of Brufut Ghana Town, Alh Ismaila Jagne, prayed for the Gambia Police Force under the leadership of Inspector General, Landing Kinteh and the senior management cadre of the GPF for Allah’s guidance and protection for coming up with such a noble initiative.
According to the Imam, this was not the first time the police has sensitised the community of Brufut on community policing. However, he noted that this was an exception, because of the approach and the positive dimension the police are taking now.
He declared that the session has enlightened them to have a better understanding of the law, which according to him, was key in the operation of community policing.
Yahya Sarjo, a retired teacher in Brufut, reminded elders to put more effort in the discipline and home training of their children.
Sarjo said most problems in the communities emanate from indiscipline, a situation which he blames on the parents.
He also expressed the need for members of the village to put aside their differences and concentrate their efforts in the interest of the community first, for a sustainable and meaningful development.
Speaking on behalf of the women, Mrs. Olley Jammeh, reminded women to be caring, steadfast and always inculcate discipline in their children.
According to her, since most women spend more time with their children at home, they then, must endeavour to see to it that children are disciplined. She said they should distance them from criminal activities and use of illicit drugs to avoid subjecting them to being liabilities in the community.
The different speakers included Alh. Musa Manneh, Alh. Omar Bojang (community elders) and Buba M. Manneh (VDC assistant secretary), all of whom re-echoed similar sentiments.
In responding to the speakers, Superintendent Musa Camara, Officer Commanding Human Rights, urged the residents of Brufut to be law- abiding and be good citizens.
According to him, the law has provided every citizen rights. But he was quick to remind them that each of this right goes with a corresponding responsibility. “That’s where one’s rights ends at, is where another person’s rights start.”
He then cited attitudes like people playing music at high decibels, playing football on streets, etc., as activities that are acceptable, but noted that if they disturb people, then it should be stopped or be done in a manner in which it would not infringe on the rights of others.
Supt. Camara then challenged the residents of Brufut to take ownership and be responsible for ensuring that peace and security prevails in their communities, through the community policing scheme.
The ceremony was chaired by the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Foday Conta, who spoke about the negative effects of criminal activities and use of illicit drugs.
According to PRO Conta, criminal activities and the use of illicit drugs lead to the imprisonment of many of the youthful population or gradually drive them to insanity.
This, according to the police spokesperson, becomes a big disadvantage to the nation because the lives of the cream of society will be at stake.
ASP Conta advised the community to be very vigilant and be aware of things happening in their environment, so as to quickly report crimes and criminal activities to the police.
PRO Conta further reminded the people of Brufut and the satellite villages that they have an important role to play in the security and policing of their communities. “Peace-building and security should be the business of all since the police cannot do it all alone.”
Speakers from the police included Cadet ASP Suwaibou Bittaye and Sub- Inspector Binta Njie-Jatta of Public Relations Office, all of whom also re-echoed similar sentiments.