Gambia Police Force: The Gambia, which has one of the lowest crime rates of all the countries in the sub-Sahara region, has a police force which is making all efforts to make the country as crime and drug free as possible. It's purpose, among other things, is to attract, retain, and promote foreign investment as well as guarantee the safety of those enjoying the hospitality of this lovely country's tourism industry. The Gambian Police Force has succeeded in creating and maintaining a generally conductive atmosphere by involving the public in the prevention and detection of crime. In addition, there is the Sea Patrol Police Unit and a petit Air Force, which will be operational in the near future. These units, apart from their territorial security duties, will also give support and assistance to the tourist sailing the River Gambia.
The Gambia Police Force
The Police Chief is informing the general public that, he and his staffs are working diligently in the transformation process of The Gambia Police Force to meet international policing standards, where the rule of law and humans rights will be fully observed without reservations.
To implement this transformation, it requires support from all individuals and institutions to enable The Gambia Police Force meets its desires goals.
|Gambia Police Force|
|Operations jurisdiction||The Gambia|
|Size||10,689 square kilometers (4,127 sq mi)|
|Legal jurisdiction||The Gambia|
|Governing body||Minister of the Interior|
|Headquarters||GPF Headquarters, Ecowas Drive|
|Elected officer responsible||
The Gambia Police Force is the primary independent domestic intelligence, security, and law enforcement agency in The Gambia. Under the Ministry of the Interior, the force is headed by an Inspector General of Police. The current size of the force is 5,000 uniformed and plain-clothed officers. The Gambia Police Force deals with corruption under a specialized Fraud and Commercial crimes unit (Interpol, 2018).
The first police force in The Gambia was the Gambia River Police, formed in 1855. Prior to this, security in the small colonial enclaves was provided by British troops and a small local militia, drawn from traders, freed slaves, and other settlers. The River Police’s role was to control smuggling, enforce taxation, and prevent insurgencies. Its 10 men were aided by the local militia and were further reinforced in 1866 by the establishment of the paramilitary Gambia Constabulary. Initially formed with 40 constables, this was increased to 100 in 1870. At this point, all imperial troops were withdrawn from the colony, and policing was left to the Constabulary and the local militia.
A Frontier Police force was founded in 1895. The establishment of the West African Frontier Force in 1900 led to the creation of the Gambia Company in 1901, which also aided in maintaining the colony’s security. In the Protectorate, security was the responsibility of the district chief. In 1909, the British issued an ordinance granting the chiefs to appoint ‘badge messengers’, who were allowed to keep the peace and had all the same authority of the colony police. Francis has noted how “Although Gambians staffed the lower level of the force, to the local population, the police and security services, limited as they were, represented an essentially foreign presence.”
At independence in 1965, the Constabulary and Frontier Police merged to create the Gambia Police Force. Following the Gambia Regiment being disbanded in 1958, the police took on all defense responsibilities. A 200-man paramilitary force, the Gambia Field Force, which was part of the police after 1958, maintained responsibility for internal security.
The GPF has a Sea Police Patrol Unit as well as a small Air Force, which is not yet operational.
The GPF operates the Gambia Police Force Peacekeeping Center (GPFPC), which cooperates with the Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI) in training peacekeepers.
Gambia Police Force has been part of Interpol since 6 October 1986. The Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) for The Gambia is located in the GPF headquarters in Banjul. It is headed by a Commissioner, who is assisted by an Assistant Superintendent of Police. Responsibilities of the NCB in The Gambia include human trafficking, terrorism, financial crime, fugitives, stolen works of art, and others.
List of Inspectors General
|Name||Previous role||Entered office||Left office|
|Ensa Badjie||Commissioner||2008||2 March 2010|
|Yankuba Sonko||Deputy Inspector General of Police||2 March 2010||27 November 2014|
|Benjamin Wilson||Commissioner of West Coast Region||27 November 2014||13 July 2015|
|Yankuba Sonko||Inspector General of Police||13 July 2015||22 June 2017|
|Landing Kinteh||Commissioner of Prosecutions||22 June 2017||21 June 2018|
|Momour Jobe||Deputy Inspector General of Police||9 July 2018||13 March 2021|
|Abdoulie Sanyang||Deputy Inspector General of Police||8 April 2021|