The financial crisis rocking the Gambia Police Force (GPF) resulting to flattening of key programs is enough reason to cause panic among Gambians across the country.
This crisis is so severe that GPF has already halted implementation of its community policing programs in many communities, creating vacuum for criminals to maneuver. Designed to empower citizens with information to be fully involved in policing, community policing has over the years effectively helped curtail crimes and violence in the country.
But an expose by an officer commanding the unit, sub-inspector Sambujang Fatty, that “lack of funds” has been hampering their programs must not fall on deaf ears. He appealed to the government and its partners to fund the unit to avoid its total collapse.
“Community policing is very important in combating crime and violence within communities,” Mr. Fatty told crime prevention conference in Kanifing on Saturday.
He said despite the meager resources at their disposal, his unit is doing its best to “reach out to communities and sensitize them” about the usefulness of their programs, citing the recently concluded sensitization activities in North Bank Region communities.
He revealed how the “little resources we have at the moment” is slowing the spate of their projects. “We are currently working on modalities to tap fund in order to continue the work as most crimes in the country are being committed in the communities,” he disclosed, appealing to young people to collaboration with police to “combat crimes and violence against innocent people.”
Besides, Mr. Fatty’s unit is also seriously bereft with human resources, creating further setbacks in its effective functions.
Sub-inspector Fatty does not however run out of determination and confidence. He brims with confidence that slowly but surely his unit will make the country crime-free, though all hands must be on deck.
Senior police officers corroborated Mr. Fatty’s assertions, detailing how financial crunch has eaten up some of their functions. “Lack of funds has grounded some of our functions. We lack vehicle and vital equipment,” they whispered, begging for cover.