I wish I could write to you in my mother language Mandinka but I have the feeling that it will not be published if I did so hence choosing to go the usual way of the Queen’s English.
Please be reminded that Police officers play a central role in the law enforcement system. They monitor criminal activity, take part in community patrols, respond to emergency calls, make arrests, interviewing suspected criminals, taking statements, writing crime reports, dealing with paperwork, gathering prosecution evidence, giving evidence in court, fostering good relationships with the public, patrolling areas by foot and car, investigate crimes and testify in court as needed.
It is in that regards I write to you to register my total dissatisfaction as far beyond mountain Kilimanjaro as per the high increasing rate of murder, armed robbery, pickpocketing, theft and rape in the new Gambia that we dream would be the last place of hope on earth.
As we are in a democracy state but not a dictatorship or a military regime, the police are democratically and constitutionally conferred with the powers to protect the citizens of The Gambia. You as the head of the Gambia Police Force are to guarantee the safety and protection of the President in particular, and Gambians and their properties in general as far beyond all human satisfaction.
I submit to you that the citizens are not safe anymore as the rapid increasing of unconstitutional behavior of people who take the law in to their hand threatening the peace and stability of the smiling coast of Africa.
Is that The Gambia Edwards Francis Small fought for? If Small were to arise from the grave yard on see the killings, robbery, theft and rape happening in The Gambia that he dream would one day be heaven of peace. I am quite sure that he will regret the sacrifices he made to see The Gambia where one day her citizens will go to bed at any time and live without fear for being robbed.
How do you do the above requirement when lawlessness, murdering and especially armed robberies, are on the power? You are very much aware of the fact that prevalence of peace and tranquility and safety of the citizenry goes a long way to tell or measure how successful one’s presidency or administration has been. This is in addition to creating jobs for the people to better their standard of living and curtailing or wiping off institutional corruption and other criminal practices from the society.
If one is not safe inside and outside their home due to the fear of being rape and attacked by thieves and armed robbers, how will they have confidence in the President and his administration for doing a brilliant job? Is it not a popular saying among some Gambians that if you are hungry, starving but feel safe and are peaceful, you are much happier?
In another note I learnt with dismay that a herdsman at Sabi village, Upper River Region, has been arrested and placed under custody for allegedly chopping off the head of a woman. It was mentioned that the accused claimed that the boy insulted him, then he took a cutlass and threatened to chop off his head.
Sir, the above mentioned incident show a clear testimony that The Gambia is not at peace therefore you and your administration have a task to execute to ensure the safety of all citizenry despite of their tribe, race, location and political ideology.
The purpose of the police service in the state of nature is to uphold the law fairly and firmly, to prevent crime, to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law, to keep the Sovereign’s peace, to protect, help and reassure the community, and to be seen to do this with integrity, common sense and sound judgment.
The rate at which crime is increasing is quite alarming. Theft and rapes seem to have become the order of the day. It is quite baffling that in spite of the security measures taken up by the government. There appears to be no respite. What is more shocking is the fact that these crimes are being committed in broad daylights, particularly robbery. Moreover, the dowry deaths which seemed to have come down a year back, has again shown an upward trend.
Crimes against women and children have increased various during the recent past. This alarming rate of increase in crimes is a cause of concern for all right thinking citizens in the country. Lack of moral educations, propagation of violence in violence in films and television serials, irresponsible police behavior and a desire for easy money or undeserved prosperity in life is some of the reasons that lead to crimes.
This situation must be tackled before it is too late. A multipronged strategy should be developed to check crime in society. The public at large and the students in particular should be educated and told to respect the sanctity of life and individual liberty. The police force need to be educated to handle the situation intelligently and sympathetically. The media should be forced to play a responsible positive role.
The Gambians deserve to live in a state without the fear of being stalked by bandits. Therefore there is a need for creating safe places for all citizens’ recreation that will prevent them from getting involved in any criminal activity.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou