It is often said that the police is your friend. Axioms like “community policing”, “friendly police” and “a force for good” are often used to specify the relationship this organization has with the people.
But sadly, some men and women in blue have been unable to fully understand the fact that they are there solely to respond to emergencies when called upon. They are also failing to remember that their very survival depends on the ability of the citizens to pay taxes which are used to purchase uniforms, ammunition and other logistics for them.
The failure of personnel of the Sierra Leone Police force (SLPF) to respond in record time to a major fracas in Freetown for some time now shows that they are not yet ready to become “our force for good”.
A free for all fight, which occurred at Wilberforce last weekend, is a sign that the high command itself is not very sensitive to the plight of the people of this country. For over four hours last week, a brawl ensured in which some youths of that area were alleged to have fought to save one of theirs who was beaten to pulp by four boys who came in from Brookfields to fight over a lady.
They actually took siege of Groznyy Street causing serious public disturbances and a breach of the peace without any intrusion from security agents.
We believe that if there was a very big police post with officers working throughout the night, the fracas could not have escaped their ears and they would have intervened before any eventuality, because knives were brandished freely by the visiting hoodlums.
It goes without gainsaying that the ability of any force to respond to distress cries depends on its closeness to the people. But we are worried about the response rates of the police even the ones at Congo Cross, Lumley and Goderich.
We believe that something has to be done as quickly as possible to send a very senior officer to man the Wilberforce post and increase the men in the station commensurate to the rapid increase in population.
We disagree with the very faulty notion that because members of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces are at Wilberforce there is no need for a police post.We believe that if the police force is to remain “a force for good”, then it should reform itself to meet the realities of the present situation.