Why police and the public must work together

OPINION |

National Police Service (NPS) Spokesperson, Bruno Shioso. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

For those who study government and politics, they might agree on the centricity of security within the polity.

In fact, it may be argued that the main objective of a government is to organise and govern over the security and safety of people.

Security, therefore, according to David Omand writing in Securing the State, is “at the heart of good government.”

This need has therefore necessitated the birth of public security sector as the silent arm of government. Silent in the sense that it’s subsumed under the executive, yet it’s larger-than-life to other public agencies and therefore qualifies as the big-brother – the visible face of government.

That is why those who have a borne to chew with any government, target its public security machinery. The reasoning is, disparage and frustrate the security architecture, which is the backbone of government and you weaken the sovereignty of a people.

Many patriots see this bluff a mile away and keep at arm’s-length, yet a few ignorant fall prey to the trickery. Public security operates in a dynamic space, tackling non-conventional challenges day-in, day-out.

It does this to secure the motherland and safeguard citizens. And in the course of pursuing these onerous objectives, they’re won’t to make a few errors. And such indiscretions are honest errors that get redeemed promptly.

At any given time in a democracy, there is a government in place. The security architecture of any country is configured to serve such an administration faithfully. And in so doing, guidance is based on dictates of the rule of law and the moral obligation of doing what is right and honest. Yet, government haters always find a way of picking a bone with public security. And they don’t do it out of ignorance but out of knowledge that public security and incumbent administration must work closely.

As such, weaken the security sector and you weaken the government, they reason. This is why public security bashing is nowadays the norm for the rabble-rousers, than an exception.

Whenever they fail in other contests, they resort to hitting at the government’s low-hanging fruits, or the soft target, namely security.

And yet the lowest hanging fruits within public security sector happen to be the police.

This reality explains why deliberate moves are orchestrated to cause disaffection within the rank and file of law enforcement by setting police against the public through subjective narratives.

Police simply take all the blame over anything and everything without any scintilla of proof or even benefit of doubt.

The trick is to yarn a certain narrative with the intent to set law enforcement to failure. But the problem with this setting-up-law-enforcement-to-failure narrative is that it is not the police who fail but the innocent public who suffer irredeemably for want of a dedicated service. They soon fail to cooperate, owing to sowed seeds of discord when they ordinarily should be police allies by jointly designing
security concerns.

Yet without public cooperation, law enforcement is ineffective and poorer. Unlike other public services with complementary service options, law enforcement is a monopoly exception with very limited options.

The public and police are conjoined at the hip like Siamese twins. It doesn’t matter whether one of the twins is ugly or impudent. The two have a joint sealed fate, hence must try to be decent to each other.

-The writer is the National Police Service (NPS) Spokesperson. shosobi@gmail.com

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