The interior minister Ebrima Mballow has told Kerr Fatu that their records hasn’t shown a rise in crime rates across the country but homicide has increased.
According to newspaper reports of murder, there have been at least 7 killings in 2018, the recent one happening barely a week ago in Bakau.
“The concern of the people is security and the concern of the people is our concern too… Crime has not risen… We are judiciously monitoring the rate of crime and it is at the level it was for the past year…,” Mballow said in reaction to claims that the country has become unsafe to live in.
“What has risen in recent time is homicide and each time it happens, perpetrators are brought to book…”
Gambia has witnessed a number of robberies especially in rural areas. A more recent one, according to newspaper reports, was in The North Bank Region (NBR) where armed robbers broke into shops and made their ways out with cash in separate attacks and burnt two shops and a store to ashes.
The incidents were reported to have happened on February 5 at Ndungou Kebbeh and Chamen Bai Dam villages.
But the interior minister said the joint patrols by the military and the police in the rural areas have reduced the incident of robbery.
“The police are strengthening the patrol system during the day and at night; they are also doing a joint patrol with the army and other security apparatus… We are patrolling on areas that we consider to be largely affected by crime,” Mballow said.
“It is because of the patrols, you have seen the robbery cases in rural areas going down. For about two months now, no case of robbery was reported from the rural areas. So the patrols are paying dividend.”
By Mustapha K Darboe