By Mafugi Ceesay
The spokesperson of the Gambia Police Force, Superintendent Lamin Njie has lamented that instead of engaging young people into meaningful things like sports and gardening to reduce loitering, most Gambians have turned to activism and the blame-game for the growing rise in crime.
PRO Njie said sometimes people misunderstand the role of the police.
“Example, recently people blame the police for releasing ex-convicts back to the communities but little do they know that they (police) are mandated only to arrest and prosecute criminals.
When criminals are prosecuted, they are placed under the custody of the judiciary and the prisons department which monitor the sentencing until it finishes. But then again, did the prisons also have facilities for rehabilitation? Some organisations can also help in that aspect to partner with the prison to help provide rehabilitation facilities, so that the convicts can be better trained and rehabilitated to productive citizens,” Njie told a delegation of civic rights groups who visited the police over the rising rate in crime. “Many people think there is magic in law enforcement but in fact, grassroots crime control can only be done by people themselves. The police are ever ready to work with organisations in making Gambia crime free,” he added.
“We have lots of CBOs and NGOs but I don’t know if there is any whose goal is to fight crime. They will say they are activists, rights groups etc and some form of livelihood development work, but what we all fail to understand is that livelihood cannot be developed in the absence of peace and stability and what crime does is to deny people peace and stability. Therefore, fighting crime should also be the focus of everyone including the CBOs and NGOs because security forces cannot do this alone.”
Meanwhile, the police spokesperson also thanked the delegation of CSOs, NGOs, CBOs led by Seeku Janko, president of All Gambia Forestry Association and Lamin Jammeh, chairman of Together Africa Gambia Organisation, who came to show solidarity with the police in combating crimes in the country.