13 February 2014

Liberia: Fuel Shortage Affects Police Operations

Monrovia — In the last couple of months the Liberia National Police (LNP) have been unable to adequately fight crimes in various parts of the country for what the authorities of the Police squarely blame on logistical constraints.

In the wake of the outcry from the Police authorities FrontPageafrica investigation has reliably established that in the last few days the operation of the Liberia National Police has come from bad to worse due to the current fuel shortage that has hit Monrovia.

During the investigation, it was discovered that normal working activities at the Central Police Headquarters came to a standstill due to the lack of fuel to supply the only generator that provided electricity to the Central Police Headquarters.

The Central Police Headquarters where most of the administrative functions of the LNP are administered has been in complete darkness for days. The doors to the offices of some senior Police officers are forced to remain open throughout the day for the purpose of getting in some ventilation.

Most of the officers who report to work are seen sitting quietly in the dark offices doing nothing; while those who cannot stand the heat are seen loitering in the corridors.

A source hinted FrontPageAfrica on the basis of anonymity stating that the situation at the headquarter of the Liberia National Police is becoming alarming to the extent that the Police operation has completely collapsed due to budgetary constraints.

"Just imagine due to the lack of fuel, the Police vehicles are parked and Police officers are unable to carry out regular patrol anywhere," said the source.

He told FrontPageAfrica that the commanders of the both the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and the Police Support Unit the two armed units of the Police sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice to buy fuel from their pockets to have their officers transport themselves to crime scenes.

An FPA source said due to the shortage of fuel for Police operations the Police have been unable to respond to recent armed robbery incidents on Duport Road, Pipeline and the72nd Communities in Paynesville area leaving several persons wounded. When the office of the Police Chief Spokesperson Sam Collins was contacted to comment on the matter, he said, that the Headquarters of the LNP was facing power outage adding that the issue of fuel shortage is a problem faced all over the country not only the LNP.

The Police Chief Spokesperson was tip-lipped to say whether operation of the Police has been paralyzed. The statement by the Police spokesperson comes a few weeks after Police boss Chris Massaquoi appeared before the House of Representatives Plenary begging for more budgetary support.

Massaquoi said the Police have not been able to perform its statutory duty of protecting lives and properties in the wake of low budget. "Until the Police can get more budget, they will not be able to provide security to every part of the country, " said Police boss Massaquoi.

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