#Article (Archive)

The Gambia Police Force and its needs

Feb 16, 2017, 10:56 AM

I read recently in the papers that the Minister of interior wishes to change the name of the Gambia Police Force to the Gambia Police Services. Prior to doing so I would humbly suggest that we primarily work on improving the overall standards and quality of our Police Force by:

•           Doing a systems audit and assessment of the police force in order to establish, the various needs to enable it perform efficiently, including also the special training requirements to enhance their literacy and numeracy standards to enable some of them follow certain relevant and pertinent courses at the MDI and possibly the University of The Gambia.

•           Restructuring the force to ensure proper and efficient service delivery, including regular patrols covering the areas under the purview of their respective stations.

•           Building their capacity in operating in this “new democratic environment” where people’s rights are to be respected and the public dealt with politely, bearing in mind that one of the major principles of the Police Force is to “Keep the Peace”.

•           Training them in public relations and communication. When you visit certain countries, you are amazed by the courtesy and politeness that the police approach you with, even though you may have committed an infraction. Courtesy in approaching and dealing with people is an important ingredient in service delivery to the public, hence the need to support the police force in developing positive public relations qualities…

•           Elaborating proper recruitment standards and training procedures, and even establishing a “Police School” that trains to degree level (certificate, diploma etc.), police recruits in various specialities: Policing, Criminal Investigation, Prosecution, Traffic Management, and Crowd Control etc. The Commonwealth can assist in this area as it has done for several other counties…

The above are just a drop in the ocean of what our security forces need in order to perform efficiently and to an exemplary standard. Implementing these strategies will require funds that are hard to come by, given the current situation we find ourselves in. We therefore need to work hard in strengthening weaknesses and instilling excellence in performance and especially service delivery; – The change of name can come later, in due course, as a fitting emblem to what we would have significantly achieved…

By The Angel