By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia Police Force, the European Union and GIZ yesterday began the construction of model police stations for Bundung and Serekunda as part of joint efforts to meet minimum standards of law enforcement infrastructure and advance community security.
The stations will be constructed in the framework of the ‘joint German-EU support to the Gambia police’ co-financed by the German Government and the EU and implemented by GIZ.
The project aims to comprehensively reinforce the human and infrastructure capacity of the Gambia police to better their law enforcement responsibilities in a democracy. The Bundung and Serekunda model stations will be equipped with modern investigation rooms for criminal investigations and GBV offences, exhibit stores for storage of evidentiary materials, separate detention facilities for male, female and juvenile, sanitary facilities for officers and inmates, meeting and dining rooms et cetera.
Speaking at the laying of the foundation for the construction works, deputy police chief Momodou Sowe, said the police appreciate the support of the GIZ and EU in the strengthening of its strategic plans over the years. He said the edifice will address the infrastructure challenges of the police and put them on a strong footing to improve their level of performance and deliver on their policing mandate under a democracy. The EU Ambassador Corrado Pampaloni described the project as an important milestone towards strengthening the police responsibilities and community security. “It is my hope that upon completion of the project, officers will have conducive working environment to better serve the Gambia people, communities will realise improvement in the security through proactive policing, the rights of inmates will be better protected and there will be a significant reduction of crime in the Greater Banjul Area,” Ambassador Pampaloni said.
GIZ country component manager, Dr. Marion Popp, said the GIZ is committed to supporting the police force to deliver people centred services and best practices of policing.
She expressed optimism that the model police stations will go a long way in supporting the fight against gender-based violence.
The ceremony was chaired by the police public relations officer, Superintendent Lamin Njie who described the Serekunda police station as crucial when it comes to law enforcement in The Gambia.