‘‘Gambia police Force has huge logistic challenges’’ – Interior Minister

By Kebba AF Touray

Mr. Mai fatty, the Minister of the Interior on Friday 7th July 2017, told deputies at the National Assembly that, the Gambia Police Force is faced with lots of daunting challenges that require adequate and timely budget allocations, to combat the constraints.

Mr. Fatty was responding to questions put to him by the country’s law makers, during the fifth sitting of the second ordinary session of The National Assembly in the 2017 Legislative year.

‘‘We cannot effectively fight crimes or strengthen Internal Security if we continue to face logistical challenges,” Mr. Fatty said.

Responding to the question put forward by the Hon. Member from Wuli East on the need to provide adequate transport for the Basse Police Station, the Minister said the Gambia Police Force is severely handicapped with transport, and made reference to the URR Police Command, where he said, has only two vehicles, one of which is already affected; that this requires them to seek assistance from Fatoto Police Station when urgent issues come up. He said this leads to a situation where half of the complaints lodged at the station are compromised because they do not have adequate vehicles to arrest suspects. He said in the 21st century, the Gambia cannot continue like this.

‘‘To effectively secure society, there is the need to adequately equip the police,” he stressed.

He said this must be solved with extensive consultations with all the departments of government and are emphatic that the budget comes out so that the Police will be provided with adequate transportation, to properly execute their functions across the country. He said his ministry intends to solve some of these problems through budgetary allocation, through engagement with multilateral and bilateral development partners and to encourage the culture of maintenance within the police force, to ensure that vehicles are properly handled and maintained. He called for attitudinal change towards the handling of public properties to ensure their sustainability.

“What is of fundamental importance and urgent is for the police and other law enforcement agencies to be provided with adequate logistics. I challenge the Legislature to provide the necessary allocations so that this can be done,” he cited.

On his part the Member for Jarra West, Hon. Kajali Fofana, asked the Hon. Minister of the Interior if his Ministry has plans to address the constraints of Mansa Konko Regional Police Headquaters, both in mobility and resources. Minister Fatty in his response said there is a new leadership at the Police, Prisons and Immigration, bringing in new ideas and thinking.

“I will be embarking on a countrywide tour to visit and assess the conditions at all police stations and other security installations,” he stated.

He said the effective and timely logistical support for equipment, personnel, health services, facilities and other needs are necessary to improve the work performance of the police, decrease attrition and causalities and improve morale. He said the Ministry is committed to enable conditions and provide facilities to improve the quality of accommodation, transparency of financial and procurement systems, which will also increase the quality of logistic and support services offered to the police.