Of all the formal institutions that make up the State, the judiciary and the police are most important as they are designated to enforce the rule of law and dispense justice.
The rule of law guides the State and its agents to ensure security and order hence maintain and uphold justice and equality of citizens. After all, it is by the just enforcement of laws that individuals get justice or not hence ensure the protection of rights or not.
Despite the central importance of the Judiciary and the police, public perception of these institutions are mostly negative. The Gambia Police in particular should safeguard their credibility by performing their duties without fear or favour. This institution must be apolitical in order to be effective.
Over the past two decades, the police and the public have lost trust in each other. The birth of the supposedly New Gambia was meant to make that history but it seems, history is repeating itself. The Gambia Police Force is an integral part of our society. They should keep us safe while cementing our peaceful co-existence as societies, communities and as a Nation.
The Gambia Police Force have a habit of arresting citizens for an alleged offence and halfway into the case only to withdraw charges due to lack of credible evidence. Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, Hon. Alhagie Sowe, Hon. Touma Njie and recent cases of Madi Jobarteh and Hon. Ya-Kumba Jaiteh are clear examples.
It is the duty of the police to enforce the law, impartially and professionally. Democratic policing entails police accountability to the rule of law rather than to the Government. However, the police’s failure to provide adequate, professional and effective security to the population is in sharp contrast to their inclination towards the protection of governments.
MC Cham JNR
GDC National Youth President