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Building a clean and professional police force

  • Admitting the problem is only the first step. The authorities must decisively adopt various solutions to address the many problems within the police force in building a clean and professional enforcement team. Photo courtesy: Bernama

Sin Chew Daily

IGP Abdul Hamid Bador has reminded the police that they should admit the many long-term internal problems within the police force including corruption, abuse of power and drug addiction, among others.

Admitting the problem is the first step. If we keep denying the problem or opt to ignore it, the problem will never get solved and may even deteriorate.

It is hoped that policemen across the country will take heed of the IGP's warning.

There are indeed black sheep inside the country's police force but unfortunately the authorities have not taken swift actions to eradicate the undesirable elements within the institution, resulting in its public image and credibility severely eroded.

A 2017 Transparency International report showed that police was the most corrupt government institution in the country. Integrity and Standards Compliance Department director Zamri Yahya has pointed out that more than 10,000 policemen or about 10% of the country's police force have violated the laws during the past four years, including robbery, theft, blackmailing, corruption and drug addiction, meaning actions have been taken against 2.5% of the country's policemen for law violation on an annual basis.

So far 142 police cops and officers involved in drug addiction have been detained under the recently launched Ops Blue Devil, including a senior police officer.

All these numbers point to the fact that problems are very much existent within the police force which the authorities can no longer afford to ignore.

Police personnel must realize their missions and duties as they are responsible for the upkeep of social order, fighting crime and protecting the civilians, and must not commit crimes that are forbidden by the law.

In addition to individuals' morality and discipline, we also need a comprehensive set of mechanisms and solutions to prevent corruption, abuse of power and other crimes in the police force. The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) has been perceived as one really effective solution.

The establishment of IPCMC was first proposed more than ten years ago but has been rejected by the police. Due to repeated delays, IPCMC is yet to become a reality today.

However, following the expression of approval by IGP Abdul Hamid, there is good prospect that this proposal will eventually be implemented.

The police personnel must come to understand that IPCMC's establishment is not meant to punish them but to prevent the abuse of power and other irregularities.

The effective implementation of IPCMC should help reduce the issue of misconducts among the police.

Additionally, the authorities can also consider looking into the issue of remunerations to ensure that police personnel get the remunerations they deserve. This is to prevent the underpaid police cops from going against the law under financial pressure.

As mentioned earlier, admitting the problem is only the first step. The authorities must decisively adopt various solutions to address the many problems within the police force in building a clean and professional enforcement team.

 

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