By Alagie Manneh
The Bakau police station has ceased operations following a mob attack earlier this month, the deputy spokesperson of police has said.
Cadet assistant superintendent Muhammed Y Darboe said the station has suffered many damages in the attack forcing the authorities to close it down.
In early December, a mob attacked the station demanding to deal with a suspect arrested in connection with the disappearance of a taxi driver from Bakau whose body was found reportedly mutilated in Salagi.
“The action of the mob, composed mainly of young people of Bakau, led to serious damages. They vandalised the police station, and injured police officers. As a result, the police station is closed because it is seriously damaged,” the deputy spokesperson told The Standard.
He added that it will take a while for the police to take stock of the damages, and to eventually have the station re-opened.
“It is a state property, and the state is interested in renovating the property. The renovation process will go on, and we want to have it re-opened as soon as we can,” he explained.
During a tour of the facility yesterday, The Standard met a number of people who came to report issues at the station, but they were directed to either Kairaba or Kanifing police stations.
Asked whether the continuous closure of the station may not lead to more crimes in the town, the deputy spokesperson said the police have upped their game to become more proactive in communities across the country.
“It is a fact that police stations exist in all major areas, especially crime hotspot zones. We have also been deploying patrol teams in hotspot crime zones to ensure that crimes are prevented. The fact that there is currently no operational police station in Bakau should not be a latitude for anybody to commit crimes. The police will continue to be vigilant, and to be careful, and to ensure that they do their utmost best to not only react to crimes, but also to prevent crimes,” he said.
He used the interview to appeal to young people and parents of Bakau to be advocates of peace during times of crisis, “and not to instigate violence”.
“The entire nature of this crime was as a result of some people being irritated about the action of a suspect who was reported to the police. I think the community of Bakau should commend the police for the swift action in not just identifying who is behind the killing of their resident but also arresting him… So, it is a moment of preaching, not a moment of igniting violence,” he stated.