By Yankuba Jallow
Youths of Serrekunda, in partnership with the Gambia Police Force, on Wednesday arrested dozens of youths who are suspected to be thieves, scammers and gamblers.
Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Lamin Njie said they arrested sixteen people, who are currently under their custody.
“They are with the CID (Criminal Investigation Department). They were arrested at criminal hideouts and crime hotspot areas in Serrekunda,” Njie told Foroyaa.
The police officer said they will all be screened to ascertain their level of involvement in crimes.
Tobaski Sibi, a resident of Bartez Ward in Serrekunda said they partnered with the police to identify and conduct arrests of these youths. Sibi, the youth representative of his ward at the Kanifing Municipality said the youths of Serrekunda want an end to the burglary in their community.
“When you listen to the radios, they will say the youths of Serrekunda are not ready to work and this is not the reality on the ground,” Sibi said.
He said almost all youths of Serrekunda are working in both formal and informal sector.
“The youths of Serrekunda are nobles. You will never go to the police station and found a Serrekunda born been detained for stealing and related offences. All those arrested are not natives of Serrekunda; they are all comers,” he said.
He said they collaborated with the police to conduct the operation and in doing so, they were cognisant of the rights of the suspects. He said the police alone couldn’t put an end to the troubles faced by the residents of Serrekunda.
“We want them prosecuted. They have been causing troubles to the community,” he said.
Amadou Leigh, a civil servant said he lost several of his satellite receivers.
“They always steal my satellite receivers in my house. We cannot tolerate this anymore,” he said.
He explained that when the police come for them, these people will run to the Serrekunda Lower Basic School to hide.
“The School has three gates, so it is easy for them to escape from the Anti-Crime Unit (police),” Leigh said.
He said he has witnessed several occasions where these people escaped from the Anti-Crime Personnel of the Police.
“This is what we want to end. We partnered with the police to identify them. There is sufficient evidence that these people are scammers, drug peddlers, robbers and thieves,” he said.
Leigh, like many others told Foroyaa that if they send their children to the shop, these people take the money from them. Leigh added he was the one who communicated with the police about their plan to embark on the operation.
Omar Bah, a Chef de garage said he has been working at the Serrekunda car park for thirteen years.
“These boys used to disturb us. They don’t come here to work. Their purpose of coming here is to steal from passengers,” Bah said.
He explained they couldn’t do anything over the situation.
“They do gambling here. They do drug peddling here,” he said.
Bah said they will make sure this stops at the car park adding they will collaborate with the youths of Serrekunda to put an end to this lackadaisical attitude of these boys.
Other speakers all expressed similar sentiments adding they want to show the Gambia that the youths of Serrekunda are responsible people and not thugs.