The Inspector General of Police on Tuesday 27th July, 2017, started a nationwide familiarization tour. The tour is aimed at visiting officers and offices under his purview and also to meet regional and local community leaders.
The IGP was accompanied by a high-powered delegation from the police headquarters which comprises Police Chief of Operation, Alhagie Modou Gaye, Commissioner Police Intervention Unit, Omar Darboe, Deputy Commissioner Police Finance, Ousman Cham, Commissioner Police Engineering Unit, Lang Fofana and other senior cadres of the force.
During the tour, IGP Kinteh and delegation visited almost each and every Police post, checkpoint, station and barracks. He also paid courtesy calls on the regional Governors of North Bank Region, Alhagie Ebrima K. Dampha, Central River Region, Mr. Sulayman Barry, Upper River Region, Mrs. Fatou Jammeh Touray, Lower River Region, Mrs. Fanta Bojang Samateh Manneh, district chiefs, Alkalis’ and members of the community.
In his opening remarks, the Chief of Police Operation, Alhagie Momodou Gaye, on behalf of the IGP, DIG and the entire senior management of the GPF, express gratitude to the regional police commands, governors, chiefs, alkalos and the entire communities of the regions for the warm welcome accorded to the IGP and the touring delegation.
According to Chief of Operation Gaye, the IGP is embarking on this tour after his appointment by His Excellency the President of the Republic of the Gambia, Adama Barrow, and it is incumbent on the new appointee as tradition and constitution requires for him/her to embark on a nationwide familiarization tour in the regions and units under his purview.
‘‘For that reason, IGP Kinteh is prompted to embark on a nationwide tour so as to have a first-hand knowledge of the successes and constraints affecting the Police and the community with regard to issues of security concern,’’ he said.
COP further reminded police officers to work hard for the interest of the nation and always follow the due process of the police procedures and the code of conduct. According to him, gone are those days when members of the police are seen as masters, that henceforth, the police must realize that they are accountable to the communities they serve. He also warned members of the Police Force to always maintain high sense of discipline at all time since discipline is the bedrock of a standard police force.
The Governor of North Bank Region, Alhagie Ebrima K. Dampha who also doubled as the chairperson of the regional joint security task force, said the IGP’s tour is very timely and welcoming, thereby commended him and his delegation for the foresight.
According to Governor Dampha, the police is doing a great job in curbing crimes and criminal activities but stressed the need for collaborative efforts for the national police to be strengthened in terms of resources and equipment. He said this is so because the police are given much bigger responsibilities that include internal security and other missions outside the country.
The Governor attest that his region is prone to armed robbery attacks and cross border criminal activities such as cattle rustling, shop breaking to name a few and those doing such crimes are armed, therefore, one does not expect unarmed police officers to attack and arrest armed robbers. These according to him has rendered the work of the police difficult.
The governor urges the IGP to also look into the accommodation and mobility constraints faced by the police in doing their work.
Similar sentiments were re-echoed by all other governors, Chiefs, Alikalos and members of the communities in the regions.
The new Inspector General of Police, Landing Kinteh thanked everyone who has in one way or the other contributed in making the tour a possibility. He commended the regional police and administrators for the warm welcome.
IGP Kinteh stresses the need for collaboration and full participation of all to see to it that the Gambia has a professional, dedicated and motivated police force that can meet the demands of her people and match international standards.
According to Kinteh, it is so disheartening to see the deploring conditions of the majority of police stations and the difficult condition police officers are living, especially those in the provinces.
He also promises to do his best to better the conditions of the men and officers working under him. According to him, the Gambia Police Force under his leadership has taken some proactive measures by setting up a Think Tank at the police headquarters that is tasked to look into issues that are making police work very difficult and come up with a strategic plan document that will move the GPF to international Standards. The Think Tank which comprises of experts from the police are assigned to embark on a nation wide tour of the country so as to get the input of each and every police officer and also seek the opinion of the communities they are serving.
The IGP also promised to address the issue of road traffic accident which has become a big concern for every Gambian. According to him, plans are already on the way to have a lasting solution to that, thus, sometimes two weeks back, he visited the Mobile Traffic Unit to have a frantic discussion with them.
In the area of discipline, IGP Kinteh stressed the need for a highly discipline force, thus, plans are underway to strengthen the Complaint and Discipline Unit and decentralize it to the regions. According to IGP Kinteh, this will serve as a watchdog office that will monitor the unlawful activities of some police officers and regulate them. It will also make the police accountable to the communities they serve.
The IGP also promised to empower the regional police commissioners, officers commanding, station officers and so on who will have little or no interference from the police headquarters so that they can have the authority to enforce and maintain discipline to the highest level.
Furthermore, the new IGP promised to improve the general welfare of the members of the police force, such as bringing back credit facilities from banks the police use to enjoy during the first Republic, and to improve the general wellbeing of his men. He reminded the officers that since there are no much funds from the central government to support the police 100%, his office has already started working closely with the international donors and partners to support the Gambia Police Force to achieve her development aspirations to reach international standards.
Finally, Kinteh urges the police and the general public to strengthen a closer collaboration in the spirit of community policing, so that all hands will be on deck to prevent and coil suspected crimes since national security should be the business of all.
The tour which is expected to continue in the Kombos on Tuesday 8th August, 2017 was chaired by the Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Foday Conta who also emphasizes discipline within the police force, which he said is the bedrock of Gambia Police Force.