25th July 2017
Police, SLMDA Discuss Robbery, Fraud in a Freetown Conference
By a press release (26/05/17)
Policing by consultation is welcome news as police hosted stakeholders at an extraordinary meeting recently in the capital Freetown.
On Monday May 8, 2017 the Inspector General of Police, Mr Francis Alieu Munu (pictured) hosted the executive members of the Sierra Leone Motor Drivers Association (SLMDA) to a meeting in the conference hall at Police Headquarters George Street in Freetown.
Welcoming the National President of SLMDA and executive members, after invoking God’s presence, the Mr. Munu thanked them for the massive turn out and informed them about the significance of the meeting. He said it include among other things to hang heads with them in order to put mechanisms and strategies in place to curb the unwarranted, unscrupulous and hazardous activities on the road.
The issues for discussion relate to the wave of robberies, thieving, and fraud committed by fraudsters with the aid of vehicles and the alleged harassments by the police on one hand and the drivers and passengers on the other in respect of ‘half way’ and exorbitant charges’.
They also discussed issues like the illegal and unauthorised use of unregistered, unlicensed, and uninsured vehicles used on the road with particular reference to the use of such during weddings and outings, and other pertinent issues. After the successful deliberations, it was resolved that the following mechanisms be adopted in the interest of the country:
First, that police will mount temporal check points and road blocks at some strategic areas; Second, that drivers should discourage giving money (bribes) to traffic personnel; Third, the SLMDA president is to embark on a sensitisation drive with the aim of cascading the outcome of the deliberations; Fourth, relevant information sharing should be communicated to the police leading to the identification, and arrest of people suspected of engaging in illegal activities.
Fifth, police assurances of maintaining the source of information; Sixth, the judicious use of the roads in order to allow free flow of emergency vehicles and pedestrians with particular reference to Guard Street and its environs; Seventh, the observance of speed limits; Eight, the abusive use of drugs by drivers. It was also agreed that criminals travelling with unlawful items and implements during odd hours would be interrogated and subsequently arrested.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mrs Memunatu Conteh Jalloh, who is overseeing Freetown East Region in her statements, outlined some of the positive measures that she had put in place with the support of her personnel and impressed on the Drivers Union President to assist in ensuring that Guard Street and Fourah Bay Road are positioned so as to allow unhindered access and free flow of emergency vehicles and pedestrians.
Mrs. Jalloh suggested for the use of one side of the road as an emergency lane, and also informed the house that the hierarchy of the Sierra Leone Police is not oblivious of the shortcomings of some of the personnel but that complaints in relation to the conduct of the police personnel should be channelled to the appropriate authorities for action.
For his part, the National President of the Sierra Leone Drivers Union, Mr. Alpha A. Bah, after making meaningful contributions to suggestions and proposals, thanked the Inspector General of Police Mr. Francis Munu for what he described as one of the best meetings he had attended with the police since his days as an ordinary executive member years ago.
In his appreciation for the mechanisms put in place by both parties, Mr. Bah took the opportunity to singularly commend AIG Memuna for actions she put in place at some areas in the East which have helped to reduce crime and restore sanity in various communities.
Other speakers include the LUC Harbour Division, just been transferred to Waterloo, Mr Manfred Williams (Supt) CSP Johnson. Acting Director of New Traffic Management, Mr Littho Lamin (CSP) LUC Central Division. Mr Benda Barrie, aka ‘Manterlu’ Western Regional Chairman Motor Drivers Union was also present.
The meeting was reportedly very successful as all the participants opined that it was a step in the right direction.
Courtesy: Compiled by Inspector Michael Kelly Dumbuya, Deputy Head of Media and Public Relations Unit, Sierra Leone Police