Gambia: Banjul North NAM Hails Community Policing Initiatives

Hon. Ousman Sillah, National Assembly Member (NAM) for Banjul North, officially graced and took the kick-off of a friendly football match between the police at the Crab Island Police Station and the young people residing within the area on Sunday, 13 December, 2020.

Speaking to the off-duty police officers and young people before the commencement of their football match at 9. 30 am at the adjacent Tan Bi wetland area behind the London Corner neighbourhood, the Banjul North representative hailed the initiative by the police and the young people to engage in such activities that aim to promote mutual respect, trust and confidence between them as the way forward.

"Human beings are different from wild animals who live in an environment where there is survival of the fittest or the law of the jungle but in societies which are governed by laws that protect rights and that it is the duty of the police to respect these rights and to maintain the law in the interest of all," said the Banjul North lawmaker.

Hon. Sillah said community policing can be an effective method for the prevention of crime as it is not focused on getting informants to fish out an alleged criminal in the society but working with the communities to engender trust and to preempt the occurrence of crime.

He urged the young people to respect the police officer as someone who is rendering a service to the society and not to resist arrest but to cooperate with the officer as one is only alleged and not guilty of any crime until proven in court.

"As for the police, you have a duty to serve the community as you are being maintained by them as tax payers. I know you are doing that but continue to serve them so that there is peace and security for all in this country," said Hon. Sillah.

He added, "Although, the police alone cannot eliminate crime in a community as its causes are numerous and includes unemployment, desire to get rich quick at any cost, selfishness, among others."

The Banjul North NAM said he is an elected representative of the people and is obliged to respond to calls that seek to serve their interests, adding that this was the reason why he did not hesitate to cancel an engagement in order to honour the invitation to attend this community policing activity.

Hon. Sillah also seized the opportunity to sensitise the gathering on the objectives of the Crab Island Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Centre he is promoting to impart skills to the out-of-school, unskilled and unemployed young people particularly in Banjul North constituency and Banjul as well as other areas.

"I urging anyone of you here in this gathering and your friends who are in need of technical and vocational skills to take advantage of this opportunity and enroll for training at Crab Island which will commence very soon," said Hon. Sillah.

Speaking earlier, Chief Inspector Musa Bah, Assistant Station Officer (SO) at the Crab Island Police Station, said it is the civilians whose tax maintain them as police officers to provide services to maintain peace and tranquility in society. "Without the community there cannot be any police," he added/

He said they always demonstrate respect to the members of the community and give maximum attention to all manner of people who bring their cases, including small boys.

"Most of the cases that come to Crab Island police station are amicably resolved here and it is only very few cases that proceed to court,"

C.I. Bah also appealed to the members of the community to desist from brandishing knives during their confrontations, especially the young boys who even threaten their mothers.

"This is why the National Assembly Member for Banjul North constituency has left everything to come and witness the football match in order to give advice to the young people as well as encourage community policing in crime prevention," said the Assistant SO.

He also talked about the issue of the stray wild dogs at the Tanbi Area or swamps that attack individuals who come there as well as the need to transform this open area into a football field or basketball pitch for recreation for young people in the area and appealed to the NAM to look into.

The event was also graced by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mariama Sarr, Station Officer (SO) of the Crab Island Police Post, and Mr. Demba Bah.

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