As part of the Gambia Police Force’s quest to strengthen Democratic Policing Culture in The Gambia. The GPF with support from the GIZ Police Programme, “Police Programme Africa: Joint German-EU Support to the Gambia Police Force” has rolled out Community Policing initiatives in the North Bank and Central River Regions through the provision of training for Community Policing Coordinators and engagements with key community leaders with a view to strengthen Community Policing in The Gambia. The CP Coordinators are police Officers in various stations in the regions who are trained on the fundamentals of Community Policing and the application of democratic policing principles in police operations.
Training for Community Policing Coordinators has been conducted in the North Bank Region (NBR) from 7th -10th March and the Central River Region (CRR) from the 12th-16th March, 2022. In NBR, 20 Community Policing Coordinators received training on fundamentals of Community Policing, Human Rights in Policing and thematic issues related to Gender in Policing.
I Forty (40) community members from selected districts in the same region had in depth discussions on Community Policing, Human Rights and Gender. Similar engagements were done in Central River Region were 29 Community Policing Coordinators and 30 community members from Sami, Niani, Namina Dankunku, Nianija, Lower Saloum, Upper saloum and Lower Fulladu West District were engaged on community policing initiatives and how they can work with the police to proactively prevent crime.
Community Policing Coordinators were also introduced to the laws that addressed Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) i.e., Sexual Offenses Act 2013, Children’s Act 2005, Domestic Violence Act 2013 among others. Also, on the roles of the police in addressing SGBV in terms of case management and referral pathways for survivors.
The team is currently in Upper River Region where 25 Community Policing Coordinators are receiving training on areas mentioned above from 18th to the 21st March 2022.
On Tuesday the 22nd March, a total of 40 community leaders, women, and youth groups of selected communities in Diabugu, Misera, Dasilami, Sare Ngai, Sutukonding, Foday Kunda, Baja Kunda, Koina and Garawol are expected to be engaged on community policing initiatives and how they can work with the police.
The main emphasis in the engagements is that every member of the community is a community policing volunteer and can report any issue of concern to the police for the necessary action to be taken.
The team will proceed to Lower River Region from the 24th-28th March 2022 for similar engagements in Soma.