The police are as much part of the collective our as are other people of this country. It is time we own each other.
For decades, the police have consistently ranked high among the most ill-reputed, feared and corrupt public service institutions in the country. Their poor public image has much to do with their performance, in fact, the lack of it – there are no two things about that. But the police force is part of a larger system that has allowed exploitation of the people and the force itself.
From resource allocation and lack of capacity to political interference and functional independence, several reasons have been put forth by analysts and former officers for the police’s poor performance and failures in service delivery. And while the debate continues to rage, the public remains the biggest victim. Bribery and rampant corruption have led to a state where the public has lost any and all trust in the law enforcing institution. Not to forget the poor treatment of people by police officers at police stations, check posts and on public roads.
In our Special Report this week, we talk to experts, analysts, policy makers and police officers. We examine the state of our police. We raise some questions. And in our attempt to understand the challenges, we try to bring forward the many voices that get lost in the rhetoric. The police are as much part of the collective our as are other people of this country. It is time we own each other and the institutions that are supposed to uphold the laws and protect the people of this land.