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Internal Affairs Minister urges police crackdown on clique gangs

June 1, 2018

By: Aaron Bundu Lahai

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Hon. Soloko & Deputy Leema in group photo

Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Edward Amin Soloko, has on Thursday reminded the Executive Management Board (EMB) of the Sierra Leone Police about the prevalence of cliques and gang groups in the country, especially the capital city of Freetown.

He said the presence of cliques with their Five Star Generals in the communities constitutes a threat to public peace and that they must be put under control.

He cited the bus stop community around Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown as a hub for cliques who threatened the lives of innocent civilians, adding that the police must step up patrols especially frequent daylight raid, arrest and charge to court those caught in the habit.

Hon. Soloko admonished the police to make room for improvement especially in the management of crimes by giving solace to victims rather than perpetrators, stressing that giving people their rights irrespective of their social class will increase public confidence in the police.

The police, he maintained, need more training for them to deliver service to the nation effectively and efficiently.
Deputy Internal Affairs Minister, Lahai Lawrence Leema, recommended for the police to embark on robust daylight patrols to sensitise the public on the need to be law abiding and live peacefully as well as to visit grey areas and root out trouble makers in communities.
Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Juldeh Jalloh, who doubles as Chairman of the Sierra Leone Police Council, told the force’s hierarchy that the meeting was vital because it paved way to discussing ways to improve certain areas of police operations.

‘Good operational and leadership skills must be decentralised to the least police post,’ he stated, adding that such would maintain would enhance professionalism among the personnel as they serve as bridge  between the public and government.
He recommended for continuous engagement with junior officers on comportment and orientation with their engagement with the public, adding that not all situation would warrant arrest or use of force but engagement and warning.
Inspector General of Police, Dr Richard Moigbe, informed the vice president and team that the Police Act was not fit for the purpose and that it was currently under review.