Gambia’s new Interior Minister Mai Ahmed Fatty on Wednesday made his first visit to The Gambia Police Force Headquarters since assuming office.

He was received by the Inspector General of Police besides senior members of the Police Command.

Speaking during a meeting with the minister, the Inspector General of Police Yankuba Sonko expressed delight and welcomed the new minister.  He assured that the Gambia Police Force is fully behind the new government of President Adama Barrow and will work more than ever to ensure a smooth transition as well as provide security to the nation.

He briefed the minister on the number of Police officers in the Gambia saying there are 6,000 Police officers under the Gambia Police Force.

“We have 52 Main Police Stations; 50 mini Police stations; 9 Police Intervention Units (PIU) bases; 10 mini-PIU posts countrywide. All units are working to ensure security” he said.

Interior Minister Mai Fatty in response said the Police are the people on the vanguard of maintaining law and order in The Gambia. According to him, with the sacrifice, commitment and dedication of the officers, the security of the country remains intact under the leadership of IGP Sonko.

He assured the Gambia Police Force of his Ministry’s fullest support and also extended President Barrow’s assurance and commitment to internal security in the country.

He made it clear that the government will empower the Gambia Police Force under the Police Act and substantially support the community policing project in order to continue to improve police public relations and in educating Gambians on the need to be law abiding and to see the police officers as friends and partners.

On the constraints of the Police, Minister Fatty said his Ministry will submit a comprehensive proposal to Cabinet with a view to reviewing the conditions of service of the Police Officers such as increasing pay scales, providing them with assurances etc.

“We need to make adequate arrangements so that your families will be comfortable and make them believe that they are cared for” he said, assuring them that this is a new dispensation and as Minister, there will be positive changes.

Minister Fatty reminded the Police that they are living in a region that is facing security volatility and uncertainty. He said terrorism has no boundaries, financial crimes and money laundering, cyber crimes etc are growing day by day and criminals are on the move.

“The Gambia must therefore upgrade its internal security apparatus in order to meet these challenges so that we would not be left behind. This entails institutional support, particularly, giving you the tools you need to effective, capacity training, both domestic and international and more so resources because combating crimes nowadays is an expensive business. The police have to have the logistics to be ahead of the criminals” he concluded.

The Minister was later led on a conducted tour of the Police Headquarters by the Inspector General of Police Yankuba Sonko.