Police unsafe at night, close posts

Understaffed and without weapons, police are closing up shop at dusk for their own safety. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

Understaffed and without weapons, police are closing up shop at dusk for their own safety. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

Understaffed and decaying, police posts in Dar es Salaam are closing up shop at dusk because officers feel unsafe working at night.

“We used to operate for 24 hours but we realized that we were risking the lives of our police officers as they were at the posts the whole night without any weapons,” says Kinondoni Regional Police Commander Camillus Wambura.

“Some of these posts had only one police officer each because of staff shortage, which is risky and not very helpful to the public,” says Wambura, who says it is against the law for a police post to operate at night.

Dar es Salaam zone Police Commander Suleiman Kova confirmed the shortage of officers and equipment but says the force has already started working on addressing challenges to ensure police posts start operating around the clock.

“We directed Officer Commanding Districts (OCD) and Regional Police Commanders (RPC) to ensure that the police posts do not operate at night until they are renovated, the number of police officers increased and weapons provided to ensure the security of the citizenry. All these factors threaten the officers themselves,” says Kova, noting that neither police or civilians would be safe if police posts remained open in their current condition.

Police posts in Vingunguti and Kimara have already been upgraded and now operate 24 hours a day as a police station, says Kova.

Kova’s comments come as thousands of trained national service volunteers continue to beg the government for employment opportunities.

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