The Operations Officer at the Eastern Police Division of the Sierra Leone Police, ASP Aiah Edward Samandia, paid tribute to the importance of community policing describing it as being “successful so far.”
Dilating on its importance, ASP Samandia said the aspect of community policing has proved helpful to the police so far since it brings police and the community people together since “initially, that was not the case…” Community Policing, he went on to say, has helped greatly in the area of crime reduction by the police since the community is now helping in the form of providing relevant information to the police on crime-related issues.
According to Samandia, countries like the United Kingdom and Britain are succeeding because the communities greatly assist the law enforcement agencies like the Police in their work, especially in giving out relevant information, and this, he said, should be done in Sierra Leone as well.
However, over the years, the police force has been faced with a situation wherein people in the community policing partnership boards tend to influence some police officers in their [police] work, he said. But they [police] have often resisted against such temptations. “We normally experience people wanting to influence us but we don’t encourage that,” Samandia said. “We tell them the hard reality that, even though we expect them to help us fight against crime, they should not encourage crime as well…”
Samandia said the Eastern Police Division has undertaken continuous raids in ghettos to reduce the crime rate and most of the raids conducted are intelligently led, which shows how cooperative the community has been.
Recently, he said, they raided ghettos which led to the arrest of four hard criminals: Mohamed Kargbo, Mohamed Bah, Ibrahim Kamara and Winston Logan, who was recently released from prison on crimes related to robbery.
He called on the public to continue working with the police for a better and crime-free Sierra Leone.