By Mafugi Ceesay
The joint security taskforce Operation Zero Crime has arrested 881 people within a month from 2 April to 16 May 2021.
Delivering a joint statement on behalf of the team, police spokesperson Supt Lamin Njie disclosed that out of this number 430 were arrested by the Anti-Crime Unit, 142 arrested by the task force in the Kanifing municipality, 81 in Banjul, 156 in West Coast Region and 72 by the Police Intervention Unit.
He said the arrestees were screened and 350 of them were not found to have been associated with any crime; 135 were found to be in breach of immigration laws; 197 handed to the Drug Law Enforcement Agency for appropriate action; and 196 connected to various crimes ranging from breaking in, stealing, robbery, being armed in public, idle and disorderly behaviour, conspiracy to commit felony, and trafficking among many other things.
He said the suspects were targeted in several criminal hideouts, public places, markets and vehicle garages.
Superintendent Njie said at least 60 of those arrested are standing trial and the rest being processed by the police.
The Zero Crime campaign was initiated by the police in collaboration with other services to reduce crimes in the country.
“We are assuring the public that the security forces are concerned about the growing crime rate in the country just like any member of the public and we are not resting in our efforts in patrolling to ensure that the criminals are arrested and put to trial.
“The Zero Crime operation is faced with challenges of obstruction of officers while executing their work by the members of the public and resisting arrest, and we want the public to know that it is an offence to obstruct officers on lawful duties and also receive stolen properties. We want the public to know that a lot of these stolen items are finding their way back to the communities and there are people buying or receiving these stolen items or deliberately hiding it for the criminals and that’s not encouraging,” Supt Njie pleaded.