Towards an efficient Police
The Police Department must be re-structured to accommodate the best
and provide quick promotions to the lowest rank depending on their
performance and reputation and loyalty. I remember a saying at the
Police Training School “A Pound of Loyalty is worth an ounce of
efficiency.” This is very true as I found the most efficient Policemen
or Sergeant who worked with me in most instances was corrupt and not
loyal to me or to the Department.
Training systems, management systems must fall in line with the most
modern systems with the latest technology and we have many retired
Senior Policemen, former IGPs and former senior DIGs who can contribute
in no small measure towards its development along with some Marketing
and Human Resource personnel in the private sector who are conversant
with the latest communication systems etc. An Advisory Committee
comprising such persons therefore, is inevitable for restructuring the
Police and to advise the IGP, on important issues.
Complaints against the Police for use of force are mainly due to the
lack of staff at police stations who are faced with fatal accidents,
providing security to VVIPs, public related court work - crime. I, as a
police officer too encountered these problems due to lack of staff
unlike the CID which has one or two cases to be handled by a team. I
recall my period at Kosgoda Police when almost everyday there were fatal
accidents, gang warfare, burglaries, murders with court cases to attend.
A disciplined Police force
My staff consisting of nine had to solve cases will naturally forget
about investigation procedures taught at the Training School which
consume time and in haste apprehend a suspect or suspects and use force
on them to extract information.
The Police Department must increase the number of police stations,
staff and vehicles and provide them with more modern and recommended
systems to solve crime. Today like in the past, a police officer is
exhausted working sometimes 24 hours with the same salary, no overtime
and rest. Don’t they also have families? The Department must be
strengthened with proper trained staff properly equipped and motivated
to solve crime, not use them to work long and strenuous hours and
naturally they are harassed by the superiors, politicians and are
exhausted then they take it on the poor public.
In the past the Police, ie from colonial times, had certain checks
and balances in that all married staff were accommodated at Head
Quarters Police Station within the premises for their safety and the
safety of the state in case of an emergency. Even the bachelors were
given singleman’s barracks - some outstation police stations too had
this facility. This was done away by an Inspector General of Police in
the 1960s who had no experience in the field and took office from the
position of DIG, CID.
He in fact did away with the systems which were in place to instill
discipline in the service by for eg. doing away with regular parades,
with kit inspections, physical training etc, which was the next stage of
deterioration of discipline in the Police Department.
It is in the parade ground that discipline was instilled into the men
to ensure punctuality, respecting superiors and even handling riots etc.
Transport system provided to the Police is most inadequate as the public
requesting for transport and fuel for Police vehicles they leave room
Time is ripe to re-structure the Police Department and it may be
necessary that the colonial look of the uniform should be changed.
But there are some good systems we should still retain like the
maintenance of Messes in every province and sport meets which will
improve public relations.
Police Cadet Corp
In fact Stanley Senanayake commenced a Police Cadet Corp to recruit
school boys and it is sad that it has been lost with time.
The scrapping of a Reserve Police which recruited members of the
public interested in assisting the Police on special occasions building
Police public relations is also lost due to some foolish decision by a
past IGP. Such decisions and the absorption of the Reserve Police into
the permanent cadre brought in much resentment and unfair appointments
over the permanent cadre. Another instance is the abandonment of the
Police Academy and its premises to the Army. The Academy should be given
priority in professionalising the police officers in law and order and
Some officers of the Police Department in the recent past played
‘Ball’ with politicians sacrificing the integrity and dignity of the
Police Department. It is indeed sad. I sincerely hope the Department
will make a ‘turn around’ by ensuring that graduates will be recruited
as Inspectors and not as Probationary Assistant Superintendents of
Police, as done in Malaysia, and uplift the image of the Department and
win back the confidence of the public, the judiciary and law abiding
citizens of this country - The ‘Backbone’ of the Police is the
Inspectorate and in the recruitment as Probationary Sub Inspectors who
should possess a minimum of GCE ‘A’ Level.
There should be better avenues of promotion to the lower ranks as in
the past even to rise to the rank of a Senior Superintendent of Police
with the Police Academy playing an important role giving commitment and
dedication and honesty its due place. The present Inspector-General of
Police appears to be having a vision and from what one could see should
be motivated by the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to enhance the
image of the Police.