Improving national police structures in The Gambia
Title: Programme to Build and Strengthen the Police Structures in Selected Partner Countries in Africa; Country Component The Gambia
Commissioned by: Federal Foreign Office
Co-funded by: European Union
Country: The Gambia
Lead executing agency: The Gambia Ministry of the Interior
Overall term: 2019 to 2022
GIZ has been supporting police reform processes in Africa on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office since 2009. The programme is currently implementing 11 country- and region-specific components. All the selected partner countries and regions exhibit signs of fragile statehood, although this is manifested in different ways.
Since the end of the authoritarian regime under Yahya Jammeh in 2016, The Gambia has been undergoing a complete transition to democracy and the rule of law. The government has developed a key national security policy that provides for efficient, accountable, reliable and effective security agencies. Since the transfer of power, the mandate to ensure internal security has mainly rested with the national police authority, the Gambia Police Force. However, the police are currently ill-equipped for this task, as infrastructure, equipment and trained personnel are lacking. First, there are insufficient resources available to ensure effective personnel management, and second, the police are accused of not doing enough to fight crime and of being unprofessional. Citizens make little use of the existing complaints mechanism.
The Gambia Police Force has improved its human resource management, responsiveness to citizens’ needs and accountability, thereby promoting citizens’ security.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports the Gambia Police Force in three areas:
The project is strengthening its administrative and management skills in HR affairs. Equipment and training measures support the Gambian police in developing and using a computerised HR database. New HR management tools are also to be introduced, enabling the police to deploy their personnel in a targeted way and identify specific training needs. Particular attention is being paid to the advancement of women.
Furthermore, the project is advising the police on formulating and implementing a public relations strategy. Formats for ongoing dialogue between the police and civil society are being developed together with the national media. Police officers will be trained in dealing with the public and media.
In addition, the internal complaints mechanism against police misconduct is to be improved. To this end, the police are being supplied with the relevant equipment and they are developing standard procedures. Further training for employees and people’s participation aim to boost public trust and confidence in the police. The police should be perceived as a transparent and legally compliant institution.
Last update: December 2020