In Summary
  • The issue: New CID policy
    Our view: Let’s hope the Force will this time round make good of the latest promise and the doubting public will be the biggest winners.

Police have announced an interesting decision that probably everyone will be happy to hear or has been waiting to hear. Police Commissioner and spokesman Fred Enanga on Monday revealed that the Force would start providing progress on investigations into criminal cases to complainants, stakeholders and the general public.

He recognised the importance of public getting feedback on police investigations because it enhances informed involvement of the complainants and other stakeholders into the cases.

“The investigative officer, upon the commencement of a case, has to make sure there is meaningful engagement from the initial point of contact until the conclusion of the investigation through the various means of communication such as letters, email, WhatsApp,” Enanga said.

This policy is part of the new police guidelines to all CID managers in the wider scheme of providing accountability to complainants and the citizenry in case management.

The guideline, if effectively executed, will help reconstruct the police dented image and rebuild public trust in the Force.

Currently, the general image the public has of the police is of a brutal, corrupt, incompetent and extortionist Force that protects or tolerates criminals and exploits the victims to help them get justice.

This perception has been created by the wide prevalence of unethical behaviour exhibited by police officers and the inefficiency in criminal investigations. This makes the public to suspect, and many times correctly, that police have been compromised by criminals so as to escape justice.

The feedback on progress of investigations to the complainants will minimise suspicion of foul play and speculation and instil confidence in the public, which will help the victims of crime and other stakeholders appreciate the good work detectives do in crime management and the challenges they face.
The policy will minimise the incidence of taking bribes, failure to arrest suspects and delayed responses regarding cases.

The worry is that police have made similar pledges in the past, but have never put them into practice.
They have made firm pledges on fighting human rights violations committed by their officers, fighting corruption and selling their professional services to the victims of injustice, but they have continued to repeat the same over the years.

However, let’s hope the Force will this time round make good of the latest promise and the doubting public will be the biggest winners. Let the past failures and disappointments not diminish our hope for a better and pro-people police we all espouse to have.