By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
The Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Police Force, Cadet Assistant Superintendent Binta Njie, has told The Fatu Network that the recently suspended police checkpoints were unofficial but not illegal, noting that they were mounted to enhance security measures.
The police spokesperson narrated that those checkpoints were created because of the distance between official police checkpoints. The suspension of those ‘unofficial’ checkpoints has raised divergent reactions from Gambians. However, Cadet ASP Binta Njie said the police sometimes work according to discretion.
“What I want people to understand is that these are unofficial, but not illegal checkpoints. They were mounted because most of the official checkpoints…the distance between the official checkpoints, sometimes, is huge. We work according to principles as a law enforcement institution. But sometimes, we work according to discretion”, she pointed out.
She backed the reason for the ‘unofficial check points’, saying the drivers tend to be much more careful on the roads when there is police visibility on the roads. She asserted that those checkpoints were meant for security measures.
Some Gambians, in reacting to the release from the police in the suspension of the ‘unofficial checkpoints ‘, said it will make the country’s security fragile and may increase road accidents.
However, Cadet ASP Binta Njie assured that despite suspending those checkpoints, police visibility will be felt. She equalled noted that the checkpoints will be replaced with patrols.
“We are substituting those checkpoints (unofficial checkpoints) with patrols. We are not condemning the police presence, we are just saying that we will stick to the official checkpoints and replace the unofficial checkpoints with patrols… the visibility will be there,” she said.
The new police PRO further called for community support for the police in combating crimes in the country.