It is undeniable fact that police play a crucial role in upholding rule of law in any given country. Therefore, exposing members of the Gambia Police Force to issues relating to upholding rule of law, their role or contribution in the governance structure is indeed timely.
Once personnel of the Gambia Police Force are regularly trained on their role and the rights as when regards to citizens, would surely address the many problems that the public tends to fault members of the police force.
Yes, no man or institution is perfect. And there are good and bad guys in any institution. But regular training would help greatly in exposing and reminding participants about the work ethics.
Therefore, the recent retreat convened by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is quite a commendable move. The retreat, which attracted twelve participants, would significantly armed participants with the requisite knowledge in understanding and protecting the rights of others, especially those who are sometimes excluded or discriminated including women, children and minorities.
Police under the current democratic dispensation are being faced with numerous challenges and criticism from members of the public on a range of rights violation.
Section 4 of the Constitution of The Gambia task members of the Police Force to preserve the law and order of the country, the protect properties, apprehension of offenders and the due enforcement of all law and regulations with which they are charged. And in exercising and discharging their duties, the Police Force are however, required to follow due process and also adhere to the provisions of Chapter 4 of the 1997 Constitution regarding safeguarding the rights of suspects during arrest, detention and trail. With this in mind, any officer that finds himself in a similar situation would think twice and act in and manner that will not found him wanting.
Police at all cost must respect and protect the rights of citizens. We must bear in mind that The Gambia is a signatory to many international instruments such as African Commission Guidelines for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa among a host of others.
"Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to cut all sources of retreat. only by doing so can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as burning desire to win - essential to success."
War on illicit drugs!