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Sierra Leone
Sunday, July 3, 2022

LAB holds workshop for stakeholders on reduction of crime rate

By Yusufu S. Bangura

With support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Legal Aid Board (LAB) has organized a-three- day  workshop for community stakeholders to help in the reduction of crime rate in their various communities.   

The workshop was held at the Sierra Leone Labour Congress hall, Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown, on Friday 11th March, 2022.

Explaining the purpose of the workshop, Executive Director of LAB, Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, said Legal Aid Board is like a mother for everyone in the justice sector because they are everywhere in court rooms seeking justice for poor people.

She said the workshop was organized for community stakeholders, drivers’ union, traders’ council, police, bike riders union and Keke riders union, to educate them on how they should help reduce crime in their various communities and workplaces, stating that crime rate was on the increase in the country and that LAB could not do it alone but with their help, crime rate  will reduce.

Madam Carlton-Hanciles said they also targeted the deaf association because they too have a role to play in their communities-to help reduce crime.

She noted that Sierra Leone is the only country that citizens can proud off, therefore everyone must come together to develop the country by supporting the government as everyone needs peace for the betterment of the country.

She continued that some attitudes towards one another should not be encouraged, adding that the police are facing so many challenges to maintain peace in the country.

She said some community people were responsible for the overcrowding in correctional centres across the country because they report fake matters to the police and most youth are in prison for sexual offense cases without any evidence, maintaining that they want to discourage those attitudes of people through the workshop.

“I want to encourage everyone in the country to be law abiding citizen as we are fast approaching the 2023 general elections and we should help reduce crime rate in our various communities and workplaces because everyone has a role to play,” she said.

Representative from Drivers’ Union, Abdul K. Koroma, said they didn’t  have enough drivers in prison through the help of Legal Aid Board and recently LAB helped them to free 46 drivers from prison.

“I want to thank them for their support and I want to promise LAB that I will take this message to my boss and the drivers to help reduce crime rate among drivers,” he said.

Acting Secretary General for Traders Council, Foday G. Mansaray, said they were facing so many challenges with their traders because they were in prison for crime that they should not be there for.  

He said to reduce crime rate in the country, they have setup a group called minor district resolution to educate traders how they should behave in their communities and markets, as everyone knows, traders are the movers and shakers of the economic in the country because traders do not applied to be part of the council.

“We are law abiding, but some traders are lawless so we preach to them about it and we would continue to preach to them every day. We are calling on LAB and partners to capacitate us the stakeholders by organizing continuous training for us to educate traders because they lack knowledge on how to take loan,” he said.

Operation Commanding Officer at New England Ville Police Station, ASP Augusta P. Sesay, started called on civilians to help police reduce crime rate in the country.

In that light, she said they have setup community police that would help them maintain law and order in communities.

She said everyone should respect the law and not to fall on the police because without civilians there would be no police, adding that they were working with the people to maintain peace.

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