THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT POLICE CORRUPTION IN THE GAMBIA.
IT’S A GROWING PROBLEM, BUT THEY’RE HUNTING WHISTLE BLOWERS INSTEAD!
Imagine you lived in a country which has many allegations of police corruption. Worse, imagine that these allegations are hardly independently and properly investigated because for police officers in this country, corruption is becoming routine. Imagine that the police increasingly used their powers to crack down not on criminals but on anyone who dared speak out against them. What sort of a country is this? Well, it’s The Gambia I’m afraid, where what was once the finest, most honest service in the Sub region is in danger of becoming rotten.
This rise in corruption and the apparent reluctance of police leadership to fight it is a toxic combination. As ever, the leadership blame lack of resources for not being able to pursue inquiries into claims of malpractice. But what could be a greater priority than ensuring that their own officers are not breaking the law? These same police chiefs seem to find endless funds to pursue their taste for extravagant lifestyle.
The vast majority of our police officers do sometimes extremely arduous job with honesty, skill and good humour. But corruption left unchecked can infect entire forces. Anyone who doubts this need only look at the GRA burglary, Lamin Kinteh’s case and the Willingara police saga involving the station officer Samba Sowe together with his team. The story, backed by taped conversations, bluntly accused Station Officer Sowe and his gang of men in uniform.
The present Inspector General of Police Alhagie Mamour Jobe, is of this ilk. He may develop into a great Police Chief but the signs so far have not been promising. He has a pet theory of Policing in the 21st Century.
President Barrow’s Government must set up an Independent Police Complaints Commission if his Security Sector Reform will have any meaningful success. So that in the future it can take on all serious and sensitive cases involving the police. Review of the Police Disciplinary System, But this alone is not enough. The police disciplinary system is complex. It has developed organically rather than been structured to fit its purpose. It lacks transparency for the public, it is bureaucratic and it lacks independence.
Written by An Insider