Mr Commissioner, as we enter the third week of the new year, we take this opportunity to wish you and the many dedicated police officers around this country a prosperous, productive and happy 2015.
There is no doubt you and your charges are doing a good job keeping criminals and other unwanted elements at bay. It is a difficult, but patriotic duty you have. And we commend you for mostly work well done. Suffice to say, when we experience any threat to our lives – be it from robbers, rude drivers, bad mannered neighbours or partners, it is to your offices that we rush. We even depend on your officers to certify documents. On the whole it is work they do meticulously. However we have this one thing against you: discipline appears to be an endangered virtue within the police service. We will be the first to admit it is only a ‘few rotten apples’ that are spreading their rot in the institution. These are professional pickpockets who have mastered the art of demanding and receiving bribes. We meet them on our roads when they stop members of the public for obvious road offenses, but choose instead to demand a bribe to allow the offender to go. We hear horrible stories of how cops allowed a suspect or potential criminal to walk and then commit other crimes.
Then there are dockets that simply go missing from police lockers. We know the root cause of all this is money. Some of your officers are only too happy to take a bribe.
A more heinous, more frightening development though, is what appears to be wholesale violation of human rights – again by a small percentage of police officers. The whole thing is becoming very frightening when we consider the fact that police officers now need to be armed for obvious reasons, chief of which is the fact they are dealing with dangerous and daring criminals.
However the reported number of shootings and in some cases killing of suspects, some of whom are known felons, calls for your intervention. Indeed some of the people who claim to have been shot by the police are making up such stories. The majority of the cases though, are those of people the police shot when they should not have. Such people would have posed no threat to the officers and would not even be armed. Mr Commissioner, these are growing incidents, and need your immediate attention. As a nation we cannot afford to live in fear of those who should protect us.
To the men and women who have maintained honesty, patriotism and true love for police work, we say keep up the good work and help uproot bad elements from among you. Yours is a noble profession and you should not allow criminals within your ranks.
“When you have police officers who abuse citizens, you erode public confidence in law enforcement. That makes the job of good police officers unsafe.”