European Union Ambassador to The Gambia, Corrado Pampaloni, said the Joint German-EU funded two budding model police stations to be built in the Greater Banjul Area (GBA) through the GIZ Police Programme will meet the minimum standards of law enforcement infrastructure.
He made these remarks at the Serrekunda Police station on Wednesday, 20th July 2022, where GIZ Police Programme: Joint German-EU support to The Gambia Police Force laid the foundation stone of the model Serrekunda Police station at a groundbreaking ceremony that will see three more model police stations for Bundung, Bakoteh and Brusubi.
“Among other facilities, the model police station to be erected here in Serrakunda and Bandung will include a reception area, separate interview rooms for criminal investigation, and sexual and gender-based violence crimes and offenses. These interview rooms will accord victims the much-needed privacy that was lacking at the Police stations,” EU Ambassador disclosed facilities to be provided at the model Police stations.
Corrado Pampalon said that the model Police stations will also host exhibit stores for proper storage of evidentiary materials recovered from crime scenes or during criminal investigations and a separate detention facility for males, females, and juveniles.
He added that these facilities will be removed from public view to protect the detainees’ human rights.
Mr. Pampaloni said that besides the model Serrakunda and Bandung Police stations, GIZ Police Programme will also oversee the extension of Bakoteh and Brusubi Police stations.
“It is our hope that upon completion and handed over to GPF, officers will have a conducive work environment to better serve their clients, The Gambian public, “EU Ambassador told the gathering.
Dr. Marion Popp, GIZ police Programme Gambia component manager said the objective of their program is to help the Gambia Police force be more effective in human security and individual at the community level regarding international human rights standards.
GIZ police Programme Country Component Manager revealed that the minimum standard for constructing model police stations within the GBA was done in consultations with key stakeholders, including GPF, UNDP, UNICEF, and DCAF.
‘The stakeholders have factored in the types of buildings and facilities needed and how long the structures can last.’
“There was agreement that new model police stations should have holding cells for suspects in police custody that will provide enough space to fulfill human rights standards. In addition, women and men in police custody should keep separate cells, sanitary facilities need to be accessible, and a separate room for the child welfare unit is an important requirement to ensure children and survivors of gender-based violence feel safe to report their cases,” Dr. Marion Popp, explained.
Momodou Sowe, Deputy Inspector General of Police (D.I.G) said the construction of the edifices is long overdue.
DIG Sowe also highlighted that the European Union has been a faithful friend helping the police restore confidence through the security sector reform.
“EU over the time has rendered a lot of support to the Gambia Police force through training and capacity building, public order management, transnational crimes anti, terrorism, traffic management, an investigation among others,” the deputy police boss said.
According to him, the Gambia Police force continues to enjoy numerous support from the EU and other key allies in ensuring that democratic policing, the rule of law, and human rights, in particular, are respected.
Other speakers at the ceremony include the Alkalo of Serrekunda, Sering Jobe, and Police Commissioner of Kanifing Municipality, Omar Darboe, who all welcome the construction of model Police stations for Serrekunda, Bundung, Bakoteh, and Brusubi, while underscoring the importance of infrastructural facilities to security in serving the communities.