By Mustapha Jallow
The Gambia Police Force on Thursday 21st September 2017, sensitized the community of Brufut on Community Policing.
The event which attracted scores of participants from a cross section of the community, was organized by the Community Policing Unit in collaboration with the Human Rights Unit, Complaint and Discipline Unit and the Press and Public Relations Office of the Gambia Police Force. The Alkalo of Brufut, Alh. Malamin Manneh, had expressed profound gratitude and delight to be associated with such an educative and productive event.
According to the Alkalo, such events will surely raise the awareness level of communities on policing and Community Police matters. He appealed to the Office of the Inspector General of Police, through the visiting team, to embark on more nationwide sensitization programs and events like the one held in Brufut.
The officer commanding Community Policing Unit at the GPF, Superintendent Lamin Jaiteh, had stressed the need for community policing to be re-enforced and strengthened in all the communities within the country. He tasked communities to establish Community Policing structures for implementation at the grass root. “Community policing is one of the surest ways of making the Gambia a crime free country,” he said. He underscored the need for communities to share timely and relevant information with the Police. This according to him, is vital in combating crime and criminality. The Community Policing Commander, used the opportunity to encourage other communities to emulate the likes of Farafenni and Brufut in their fight against crime and criminality.
The Imam of Brufut Ghana Town Alh. Ismaila Jagne, on his part prayed for the Gambia Police Force under the leadership of the Inspector General, Landing Kinteh, and all the Senior Management of the GPF, for Allah’s guidance and protection, for coming up with such a noble initiative. Imam Jagne said this is not the first time the police have sensitized the community of Brufut on community policing. He was however quick to add that this particular event was an exception because of the approach and positive dimension the police took. He said the session has enlightened them to have a better understanding of the law which according to him, is important in operating a community police structure.
Mr. Yahya Sarjo, a teacher from Brufut village, reminded the elders to put more effort in the discipline and home training of their children. According to him, most problems that the community is faced with is as a result of the indiscipline nature of our children and he blamed the parents for not taking their responsibly. He expressed the need for members of the village to put aside their differences and concentrate on the interest of the community first, for a sustainable and meaningful development.
Speaking on behalf of the women, Mrs. Olley Jammeh reminded the gathering especially women, to be caring, steadfast and ready to inculcate discipline in their children. According to her, since most women spend more time with their children at home, they must endeavour to see to it that children are disciplined, and distanced from criminal activities and the use of illicit drugs to avoid them being liabilities in the community.
Superintendent Musa Camara, who is also the Officer Commanding the Human Rights Unit of the GPF, urged the people of Brufut to be good law-abiding citizens. According to Supt. Camara, the law has provided rights to every citizen but was quick to remind the gathering that each right goes with a corresponding responsibility; that one’s rights ends where another person’s rights starts. He said people playing music on loud volumes, playing football in the streets etc., are acceptable activities but if they come to disturbance, they should be stopped or allowed to do it in a manner that will not infringe on the rights of others.
Concluding, Supt. Camara challenged the people of Brufut to take ownership and be responsible for the peace and security in their communities, through Community Policing.
The ceremony which was chaired by the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Foday Conta, emphasized on the negative effects of criminal activities and the use of illicit drugs by the youth.
According to PRO Conta, criminal activities and the use of illicit drugs leads to the imprisonment of many of our youthful population as well as drives them to insanity. According to the police spokesperson, this becomes a big disadvantage to the nation because the lives of the cream and future of our nation would be at stake. ASP Conta advised the community to be very vigilant and be aware of happenings in their environment so as to quickly report crimes and criminal activities to the police; that this is the only way to combat crime. PRO Conta further reminded the people of Brufut and satellite villages, that they have an important role to play in the security and policing of their communities; that peace building and security should be the business of all since the police cannot do it all alone. Other speakers from the police included Cadet ASP Suwaibou Bittaye and Sub Inspector Binta Njie-Jatta, of the Public Relations Office also re-echoed similar sentiments.