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City of Banjul
Monday, September 21, 2020

On Essau armed robbery

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Dear editor,

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This story has left me with a combination of fury and disgust at the combined security forces deployed at Essau. To have seven armed robbers attack a residential compound a couple of hundred meters from a police station and a military installation, brutally attack a night watchman, break into a pharmacy, break open a safe and then escape without a trace.

 

First the victims were unable to reach the police in a timely fashion and when the police showed up to a reported armed robbery at 2am, they showed up unarmed and decided to take cover to save their own lives and called in their next door neighbours the army.

 

According to the police PRO his ducking officers’ presence succeeded in pinning down the armed robbers until the soldiers got on the scene who upon arrival exchanged fire with the thieves still holed up in the pharmacy and somehow at the end of the fire exchange with army personnel all seven thieves escaped with their loot into the Essau night.

 

How is it possible that trained soldiers of The Gambia national army with an installation a few hundred feet from the crime scene deployed to neutralize marauding gunmen, engage them in sustained gunfire and yet all seven armed robbers manage to escape into thin air? This is an intolerable demonstration of incompetence and an utter disgrace. A contingent of boys scout troupes could have been expected to do a better job. What a shame. The Gambia Police Force are running a serious risk of losing public confidence in their demonstrable record of ineffective crime prevention, sub-standard response to crimes as they unfold and shoddy crime investigation pursuant to their commission. And we can’t blame it all on resource constraints.

 

There seems to be a deep rooted culture of poor work ethics and propensity to focus on petty shake down operations. The citizens must have a sense of security in their homes and businesses and that when faced with looming threats their wellbeing and their properties would be protected. That trained soldiers coming under live fire from seven thieves could not manage to suppress that threat with immediate and overwhelming force a few hundred feet from their base is a disgrace to the uniform. Subhannallah. What good are soldiers of that sort? Damiyah tournament, rounders, paddy nyet, tanabirr, furral? Anything except national security!

Karamba Touray

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