(JollofNews) – Barely two weeks after a group of armed robbers stormed Hajo Jarra Pharmacy in Essau Village, North Bank Region, and got away with more than D16,000, calls are intensifying for authorities to embark on community-oriented policing to contain the menace.

The attack left one Modou Bah seriously wounded, and created an emotional trauma the victims are yet to overcome.

And although the Gambian authorities have reiterated their commitment to protecting the lives and property of Gambians, the people of Essau are still in shock and continue to try to figure out how criminals were able to cause a breach of peace and tranquility of mind in Essau and Barra.

“In their efforts to flush out criminals from our cities, authorities should involve the local communities,”  Lower Niumi District Youth Chairman Aba Hydara told this reporter in an exclusive interview.

He said the police should record the names of people who volunteer to provide valuable information related to security matters.

“Instead of medalling politicians, government should award those leaking information against banditry, corruption and other forms of anti-social behaviours,” he said.

Mr Hydara called for the holding of public hearing in various localities to know the security challenges the communities are confronted with.

Jimmy Olu Coker, proprietor of Hajo Jarra Pharmacy, also called on the authorities to increase police patrols at night and develop street lights within the outskirts of Barra and Essau to alleviate the incidence of armed robbery in the area.

He said electricity in the area is always out from 2:00 am and the armed robbers attacked his pharmacy at 3:00 am, leaving the night watchman wounded.

He said the incident has left his daughter and the night watchman badly traumatised and in need of psychological counselling.

Narrating his ordeal, Momodou Bah, who spent 25 years serving as night watchman at Hajo Jarra Pharmacy in Essau, said one of the attackers clearly threatened to kill him.

He revealed that two of the six attackers were armed with pistols, and did not hesitate to fire their weapon.

Far from being moved by their threats, he said he managed to stabb one of them, prompting the rest of the group to beat him seriously.

“They were hitting me with stones, and  I managed to run away to save my life,” the father of three added.