By: Nyima Sillah
Following the recent memo released by the office of the Inspector General of The Gambia Police Force regarding the suspension of all police checkpoints, scores of citizens strongly criticized the suspension of police checkpoints across the country saying it might cause more harm than good.e
Speaking to The Voice, Ebrima Bojang, a student at the University of The Gambia described the act as unprofessional saying the police need to introduce more security checkpoints for the safety of the citizens rather than suspending checkpoints.
“The suspension will cause more harm than good. In my view, the suspension was not based on any genuine reason. If you are going to suspend, tell us the reason behind the suspension rather than releasing a memo without a clue.”
The checkpoints serve as control and checking points for documents, as minor security points for all regions across the country. Adding that, it helps the police to easily detect some illegal issues on the road and other community issues.
Amie Jallow, Teacher in the West Coast Region “I believe this came at a wrong time considering the recent crime surge in the country. The country is at a very fragile stage. This is the time to introduce tight security across the regions in which police Checkpoints are key.
“Some of the biggest crimes are detected by the police at the checkpoints example the issue of drug trafficking in the country, theft cases, children or child trafficking, the migration of arm robbers from one area to another in our country,” she outlined some of the ongoing crimes.
She noted that Checkpoints also assist school children in crossing the road. She joined others to call on the government to return checkpoints saying, “I suggest it should be minimized if there’s any genuine reason rather than suspending all of them. Also, the duration of the suspension should have been mentioned.”
Musa Njie, Vendor at Serrekunda Market also said the suspension might cause rampant accidents in the country. “How could you leave drivers on their own without any checkpoints to control their movements? There is a need to think of saving lives. Some drivers drive recklessly despite the police checkpoints and now that they are given the freedom to drive anyhow, commuters and other road users are in big trouble.
“The IGP should review the decision. He should look at the security of the country, look at the rate of accidents on our roads and the frequent cases of theft before announcing this suspension,” he added.
However, “my heart bleeds knowing that this might be the best chance for some illegal acts in our country and some commercial drivers deliberately violating traffic rules and blocking highways. Drivers without license will also have the chance to drive freely.”