By Edward Kabango*
Time for burying our heads in the sand to avoid facing the reality is gone. So too is time for finger-pointing at each other, but rather this is the time for finding solutions to our day-to-day problems to sustain a good living.
Insecurity has been the news everyone has refused to ignore for some time. A lot has been said and debated about our police’s capabilities in making Malawi a haven for its citizens and, of course, the investors.
To make matters worse, we have seen some police officers victimising the same people they are supposed to protect. But the beauty is that the law does not segregate. We are all treated equally regardless of one’s profession. We have police officers who broke the law and are currently in our prisons serving while others are under investigations for their wrongs.
Have you ever thought or realised that you are the missing link in making our Malawi a place of milk and honey?
As the police, we are always there day in day out enforcing the law. But we cannot work minus you members of the community. You do not actually need to patrol with us or conduct vigils at various police formations across the nation. Just share with us crime information you have and we will do the rest.
Information is power. What kind of information does you posses that can end up improving security in the country? Or have you ever tipped the police with crime information? Or do you have a friend who is a man or woman in uniform who you can confide in?
To effectively do our work as the police, we need information. Thus, the introduction of community policing that bridges the gap that was there between the police and the community. A simple assumption is that any robbery that happens, someone has information since we reside with the suspects in our locations.
The police have made break-through in many cases with the help of information we get from members of public who are in no way displayed for the role played. Be modern and patriotic by having a friend or friends in the men in uniform industry.
To simplify matters further, most officers are our neighbors in our locations. It is general knowledge that most Malawians are less privileged. Despite that, we have the desire to have standard goods that we cannot manage with our little income. So, we always fall prey to buying stolen loot for their low inviting prices.
In this millennium, we need not be reminded that buying stolen things is an offence and it perpetrates the bad habit of stealing. People steal because there is always a readily available market for the loot. But if we can vice-versa our thinking and start shunning buying suspicious things, we can be a solution to the insecurity in the country.
Use your brain to its maximum when doing business to avoid being caught in the thieving web. Know the counter value of the item you are buying and always be suspicious of the same product offered to you at much lower price. The manner in which business is conducted speaks volumes of how trustworthy the business can be. Imagine being supplied with hidden goods at an odd hour. It could be you sometime who will pray to the good Lord that a potential buyer somewhere will not be a cheap market for your stolen goods, but rather be a Good Samaritan by reporting to the police.
Let us be effective communicators by sharing the crime-related information if we are to enhance security in the country. We can go on and on pointing fingers at each other without solutions in as far as security is concerned if we cannot unite in this fight against crime.
As the police, we are not running away from our responsibilities, but the information you are keeping is the most effective weapon in this fight supplementing the weapons you know we have.
—*The author is a police public relations officer for Dedza