With David Kujabi
By David Kujabi
Three Senegalese nationals are in police custody for robbery with violence. Abdoulie Saine aged 25, Modou Faye aged 27, and Ousman Sarr aged 27 were arrested after they robbed a police officer at the SereKunda market during the hours of 01:30 to 02:00 AM.
According to the victim Corporal Lamin Darboe, a traffic officer attached at the SereKunda Traffic Annex, he was on night duty and a brother of his had come to pay him a visit at the station where they chatted until around 01:15AM when his brother wanted to go home. Cpl. Darboe saw him off to the car park where he boarded a taxi (town trip) to go home.
“I was walking back to the police station when after I passed the baobab tree near the Trust Bank building, I noticed three men following closely behind me. One of them walked past me and I noted that he was holding a beer bottle which he broke and stood facing me, blocking my way. I asked him to allow me to go on but he refused and instead made to strike me with the broken bottle. I tried to seal off the blow with my left arm and sustained a cut on the thumb, while I struck him in the face with my right hand. Then another held me around the neck from behind and the third one joined in and they wrestled me to the ground. Knowing that I was overpowered, I stopped struggling and let them rob me of D1750, 00 and a simple TECNO mobile phone. They then kicked me several times before they left”, Cpl Darboe narrated.
He furthered said that after they left him, he got up and rushed to the PIU officers on night patrol duty around the Serekunda black market where he reported his ordeal. He was assigned personnel and they hired a taxi and pursued the assailants and arrested two of them somewhere around Dippa Kunda. These were brought back to the police station and the task force was dispatched in search of the third suspect who was subsequently arrested around Jaiteh Kunda Street. His mobile phone and D650, 00 was recovered from them.
Kanifing police and politicians pledge to keep the peace during mayoral election
By David Kujabi
In what has been described as the first of its kind, the Police of Kanifing Division under the command of Commissioner Malamin Ceesay on 3 May 2018 convened a meeting of all political parties and candidate representatives at the Divisional headquarters in Kairaba to discuss on how to consolidate peace during the mayoral elections.
The meeting was attended by Senior Police officers of the region including Commissioners of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) and Mobile Traffic and Campaign managers all the candidates of all the parties and independents, except UDP who did not send a representative.
In his opening remarks, Police PRO Superintendent David Kujabi expressed gratitude to the participants for honoring the invitation stressing that their response is a manifestation of their desire for the maintenance of peace in the Kanifing Municipality. He further implored on them to maintain that spirit for the good and development of The Gambia.
In addressing the gathering, Police Commissioner Ceesay indicated that he and his team invited them to the meeting as stakeholders so as to address challenges, and map out ways to foster, consolidate and maintain peace and security before, during and after the elections. “Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen; since peace and security are fundamental human rights, it is an incumbent pre-requisite responsibility on all stakeholders and Gambians to ensure that the entire cycle of this election is accomplished peacefully without any form of violence”, CP Ceesay said.
Commissioner Ceesay urged for the avoidance of use of provocative words by candidates, militants and supporters, desist from personal confrontations or verbal abuse, and violence. He added that the people should accept and remain comported once a winner has been announced. He concluded by informing all that the police will provide security and would be on constant patrol to ensure peace and tranquility and implored that any threat, provocation or violation of the law should be reported immediately to the police.
Party and candidate representatives who spoke at the gathering commended the police for the initiative and pledged to do their best to ensure that their supporters maintain peace. They however expressed concern over the absence of UDP at the meeting. Commissioner Ceesay indicated they had been invited like all the others present and promised to brief them on the issues discussed. Other speakers included the Commissioners of PIU and Mobile traffic who both urged for cooperation during this period.
Mental health and young people in the criminal justice system
By L. London-Drakes
Aka Bojang Ba
Young offenders or alleged young offenders presenting themselves in the criminal justice system from the point of contact with the Police to the court system may be presenting behaviour that is not ok and in most cases not obvious to the professional whilst the child will require necessary support.
A snap shot of what is currently in place to screen out those young people with a mental disorder is unclear; also how you identify those that meet the criteria for one or more mental disorders warrants consideration.
Psychological disorder/Mental disorder can be defined as a pattern of behaviour or psychological symptoms that causes significant personal distress, impairs the ability to function in one or more areas of life or both.
‘Mental Impairment’ means a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind (not amounting to severe mental impairment) which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning and is associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the person concerned’ .
Adolescent offenders with mental disorders are complex young people who may be presenting as the result of different types of abuse or other causation.
What are the Juvenile justice system obligations to them?
How can we identify these young people as they enter the system and respond to their needs in a way that also meets the nation’s objectives for the juvenile system?
There is a growing body of knowledge in the fields of child development, Psychology, Psychiatry, criminology and Law.
The damage that results from criminalising delinquent behaviour can be enormous yet cautions against the other extreme must be considered.
Viewing mental illness as the cause of violence or other disruptive behaviour is an established model of practice, and mental health intervention as the solutions to juvenile delinquency is a positive model of approach.
Without settling for simple answers can we chart a rational course for action and point to the resources that still must be put in place if we are to fulfill our responsibilities to these young people and the public?
Understanding the challenges:
Developing policy and practice guidelines for dealing with disturbed young people in the child justice system from the Police Station to the detention centre.
The limits of our knowledge; (what we can do).
The obligation of the system (what we should do)
Adolescent is a unique developmental period, characterized by enormous variability and change virtually every behaviour or emotion that is in an adult would be a symptom of a mental disorder, and will be found for a time in almost every child or adolescent, at one age it may be adaptive and ‘Normal’ at another maladaptive and ‘abnormal’.
Tools are available to assess the clinical conditions of adolescents but there use in the Child Justice system may be limited.
Limited and inadequate staffing or financial support
Knowledge + skills = experience
Despite these limitations there is a need for a way forward.
What should we do?
Even before we decide how to identify those young people in the Child Justice system
We must decide which ones we need to identify and to what end.
The sad fact is nearly all young offenders in the system will meet the criteria for some mental disorder and most can benefit from treatment.
But the juvenile justice system should not become the Nations child mental health system.
Adolescent depend on adults even more so when their liberty is threatened or restricted.
Think safety (Protection)
Risk of immediate self harm
I.e.; suicide, cutting and burning
Out of control aggressive behaviour while the youth is in our care and custody.
Our Key objective should be to minimise the function of serious impairment so that they can participate in Child rehabilitation.
This presentation is based on professional experience and observations of young people in the Child and Criminal Justice system.
Research reference: THOMAS GRISSO.
Children Exhibiting EMOTIONAL BEHAVIOUR (Difficulties)
Definition and Description difficulties
In the Education environment:
Children with emotional and /or behavioural difficulties present behaviours which:
Hinder their own learning
Hinder the learning of other pupils.
Can make the teacher feel inadequate.
In the past these children have been referred to as maladjusted, disturbed or troublesome, perhaps it would be more accurate to describe them as disturbing rather disturbed, troubled rather than troublesome. Nevertheless, their behaviour can make school life very uncomfortable for their peers and teachers.
When working with these children in deciding what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behaviour, several factors have to be taken into consideration:
AGE. It is acceptable for a toddler to cry over a minor injury, whereas a teenager would be expected to show more stoicism.
Cultural norms. In some cultures spitting is a sign of contempt and therefore considered impolite, in other cultures it is accepted.
Gender. Although distinctions between the behaviours considered appropriate to the sexes are becoming blurred, there are still areas (such as dress codes) where distinctions are made between the genders in some cultures.
Social situation. Young people may use language amongst there peer group which would be considered inappropriate if young person were speaking to an adult.
Institutional Norms. Although most schools would have very similar behavioural expectations, there may be slight variations and differing degrees of tolerance. For example some schools may have a more strictly observed dress code than other.
Duration. If a child is denied an expected treat, we might expect him/her to show disappointment. It would be inappropriate however if (S) he were to sulk all day.
Intensify. A child might be excused for showing irritation if another child accidentally jostled him/her. However if the reaction to being jostled were to punch and kick the perpetrator, then this would be unacceptable.
The effect of the behaviour on others. Some behaviour may be particularly annoying to some people. For example one teacher may be very irritated by a pen on the desk whereas another teacher may be not even notice it.
The behaviour of emotionally and/ or behaviourally disturbed pupils can take many forms (see page 4). It may seem as if the child is supremely confident. However, the opposite is invariably true. Their problems may be unique and they all have different ways of expressing how they feel (see page 5) but one thing all seem to have in common is that they lack self-esteem.
In the classroom they can take up a disproportionate amount of a teacher’s time. This leads to the teacher and other pupils feeling resentment towards the EBD child. This in turn increases his/her feelings of isolation and worthlessness and exacerbates anti-social behaviour.