Oct 24, 2014, 10:00 AM
Inspector Sambujang Fatty of the community police unit of the Gambia Police Force has said it is the constitutional mandate of the police to protect the life and property of all persons resident in the country.
However, the realisation of that mandate cannot be effectively and efficiently achieved without the support of the community, he stated.
Inspector Fatty made these remarks recently while presenting a paper on community-based policing as a crime prevention, conflict resolution and peace-building approach.
The forum was held recently at the Management Development Institute (MDI) in Kanifing, where Fatty deputised for the Inspector General of Police.
He added that it is a joint police-community partnership approach through which crime prevention and reduction, police service delivery and community safety issues are jointly determined, analyzed and addressed.
He said that while this effort is not a new one, “we have come to note that it is also not a very familiar one in most of our communitie,s even though some communities have in the past supported the police in identifying criminal suspects and their hide-outs.”
“We strongly believe that it is now time to step up this support to a level where the communities see themselves as a part of the process of ensuring a safer Gambia,” he added.
There hope that the publication which is intended to be used as a training tool and strategic approach for both community leaders and GPF officers, to enlighten all the stakeholders involved in this partnership about their various roles and responsibilities, would result to the creation of an atmosphere of trust and confidence between the police and the communities, he continued.
Fatty added that the police cannot fight crime in isolation of the communities. Therefore, “we ask you all to partner with the police in fighting crime so that our communities’ vis-à-vis our country will be safe.”
Inspector Fatty further stated that community policing is the day-to-day engagement between the police and the public; it is the way in which the police do business with regards to making certain of the security and well-being of the community.
“It involves the equal and active participation of the communities and the police in detecting, preventing and reducing crime from our communities, and the sense of ownership and social responsibility in addressing the problems of insecurity in their own communities,” he said.
“It is a policing approach that encourages the partnership involvement of communities in the development of strategies geared at reducing the victimization and fear of crime in their respective communities, and ensuring a safe and secured Gambia,” he went on.
“It is based on this understanding, therefore, that the Inspector General of Police is mandating all officers of the GPF to cultivate a customer care approach to the communities they serve”, he asserted.
The police intend is to reach all of the different audiences such as traditional and community leaders, youth and women’s groups, faith-based organizations, local government authorities, business community and even the transport union to sensitise them on community policing, according to Fatty