By Binta Jaiteh
In the report of the Parliament Standing Committee on Public Petitions, from the Petitioners of the Wuli East Animal Protection Association on Police inaction, to stop animal theft in the region, a witness said if the Police failed to take action it could seriously lead to violence.
According to the report of the committee, several reports have been sent to the Police to investigate thefts that have been reported only for personnel on duties to be lax in investigations, instead asking the community for community policing which is still not forthcoming.
During the laying of the report, Suwaibou Touray, chairperson of the standing committee on public petitions, said “The Minister of Interior was written, and he promised to take steps to address the matter by replacing the Police Commissioners and other officials, this is yet to be implemented and the problem is even escalating.”
In his presentation, he noted that the standing committee on public petitions is established by Order 125 of the National Assembly Standing Committee to receive formal complaints from the public.
He added that the first petition was filed at a time when the committee was not established, noting that once it was composed, the petition was then referred to the committee for scrutiny and the findings reflected in the report.
“The petitioners further requested that the release of detained individuals within seventy-two hours be removed because it makes it difficult for a thorough investigation to be done on thefts,” he said.
However, Hon. Touray explained that the Minister of Interior and the office of the Inspector General of Police failed to strongly institute steps to respond to the growing problems of animal rustling in the Wuli East District area and the failure to prosecute offenders.
He concluded that after receiving all the submissions from the witnesses, the committee recommended that the Basse Police and Sare Ngai Police institute an effective community policing and network that shall involve the Animal Protection Association Chief, Alkalolus, and other traditional leaders and provision of patrol vehicle for the Police Station and the Paramilitary in the area to ensure close tracking of animal rustlers.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly adopted the report of the petition committee with amendments.