Public angry over politicisation of Police

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IGP C.D. Wickremaratne said, in a letter to Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Major General (Rtd.) Jagath Alwis that the public is frustrated with the Police because of the recent politicisation of the Police Force.

The letter described how, in a short period of time, the Police had become politicised.

According to the letter, only two OICs with proper qualifications were appointed to OIC positions under the previous government from 1 January 2021 to 3 November 2021.

The letter showed that the IGP informed the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security in writing three months ago that the remaining 182 OICs were appointed on political influence sans recommendations.

“Although the public expects good police service, the public is unable to confront the Police directly under the Police’s legal authority, even if there is a public outcry against the Police’s inefficiency and corrupt, oppressive conditions. As a result, the public becomes increasingly frustrated with the Police. Because the current government maintains such a Police Force, it is unavoidable that the public will turn to the issue that has resulted in such austerity and frustration,” the letter said.

The letter also demonstrated that the Sri Lanka Police, a key component of the Executive, reflects government policy on the rule of law, and that an evaluation of government policy implementation, not just locally, but also internationally, is unavoidable.

“It is therefore recommended that, when appointing and removing OICs, the Police Service and the Government take into account the foregoing circumstances and make appropriate decisions to alleviate the situation. During a time, there were 283 incidents of police officers obstructing duty and 359 incidents of police officers engaging in various misconducts. It has been observed that this is an abnormal report,” the letter added.

According to the letter, 21 police officers were arrested with drugs during the time period, and 156 officers were reported to be drug addicts. During the same time period, intelligence revealed that 130 police officers had connections with drug traffickers.

“The OIC of a specific police station is an officer who has no knowledge of the law and practical police, who is unfamiliar with administrative procedures, and who is an important factor in the administration of an inefficient or corrupt Police Force or territory. Law and order in that police area will inevitably deteriorate if an officer lacks the experience required to understand criminal procedures based on anomalies,” it said.

The IGP also said that in such a situation, the officers attached to the police station will inevitably become corrupt or inefficient, and the public will be inconvenienced due to the failure to direct the officers in the desired direction, as well as administrative problems and the inability to fulfill the legal requirements of the people residing in and passing through the area.

By Thameenah Razeek