Gambia: Security Has a Soft Part and a Hard Part


A state must have a security apparatus to protect life and property. Those who carry out such functions are frontline defenders of the interest of the people. Their duty is to prevent any harm to life and property or apprehend those who willfully subject life and property to any harm.

The Public space is a common property. Its use must be regulated by law to avoid public disorder. In order to promote peaceful expression of grievances for redress processions and demonstrations are respected as lawful use of public space requiring the protection of the police within a limited time-frame.

This act of protecting persons to occupy public space to express matters of concern for the attention of the authorities is soft security. The police should be very enthusiastic in carrying out such functions to enable authorities to address problems, the ignoring of which, could fuel conflict thus leading to hard security measures.

To consider peace to be the absence of grievances or their suppression is to live in fairy land. A genuinely peaceful society is where there is tolerance of expression of grievances and sensitivity in addressing them without delay.

A police administration that is fit for purpose is one that ensures that it is respected and not feared so that the people feel free to express their grievances without fear or illwill , in a manner that is respectful of the rights and integrity of others in pursuit of the common good .

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