Taking a cue from your statement last week, I wish to say that ‘it is very easy to criticize but hard to take responsibility’. We (I mean Gambians) are very quick at criticizing the Gambia Police Force (Service). Almost all sections of society keep blaming and criticizing the police for supposed failures on their part. Some accuse them of being corrupt, others of being lazy, some of being politically biased and others of being cowards. But few look into the conditions under which our police are working.
It is unfortunate that until now, we are living in times when the police will sit without any fuel in their vehicles. Or, that entire region has one police vehicle. Times have changed, and so has the nature of crime. Of late, we have heard of reports where armed robbers have attacked some parts of the country doing away with a lot of properties of citizens. In some of these, the police could do nothing because either they did not have fuel to go, or, they had no weapons and as such could not attack criminals who were armed to the teeth.
Mr. President, the Gambia Police Force/Service needs serious attention. It is very clear that the working conditions of the police are not favorable and that they should be improved. The police need to be paid well and given enough incentives to do their jobs. These brave men and women risk their lives every single day so that we sleep well, so that we have peace, so that we go about our business without fear. Why should these people have so poor a salary that they are susceptible to being bribed and corrupted? Just imagine for a moment if we were to be without these police men and women, what will happen to that business man who is paying tax? What will happen to that farmer who produces the food of the nation? What will happen to that banker who keeps our money? The police are therefore serving the country in so many ways that cannot be underrated.
Here are a few suggestions I have for the government in relation to upgrading the work of the police in order to reduce crime and ensure a safer and more secure space for all Gambians:
- Increase the salary of the police officers so that they will be incentivized to do their work better
- Give the police enough vehicles so that they will be able to go on patrol around the country and at all times
- Give the police enough fuel so that their vehicles will not only be white elephants
- Give the police enough opportunities to go for training around the world so they learn best practices
- Provide the police with all the tools (including the latest technological gadgets) so they will become more effective in fighting crimes
- Give the police weapons so they can protect themselves from unscrupulous and merciless criminals
- Give awards to brave and hard working police officers so others will wish to join the force/service and,
- Work on raising the image and profile of the Gambia police force/service in the country so people will have that respect and regard for police officers.
Have a Good Day Mr President….
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen