Northern Region Police Commissioner Martha Suwedi on Tuesday told community policing members and fellow police officers that when the region is in desperate need of funds, she will rely on traffic police to collect funds from the roads.
Ironically, the money collected goes straight into government’s Account Number One.
Suwedi said this in after the region’s community policing committee chairperson Pius Kamkhoti Mkandawire complained about lack of funds and materials for the smooth running of community police.
Mkandawire said lack of resources such as reflector jackets, torches and whistles is frustrating the work of his committee.
“Our performance has gone down. We even fail to hold meetings as there are no funds,” he said.
Suwedi said officers- in-charge of stations are supposed to use available resources to ensure the safety and security of the region.
“We cannot fail to buy small things like whistles for community police. We can just tell traffic police officers to go on the roads and collect funds. We can refund later when our revenue trickles in,” she said.
In an interview later, Suwedi called on well-wishers to support the service for its operations to run smoothly.
She said the police are now in a continuous process of rooting out bad apples in their fold.
“It is unfortunate that police officers are involved in robberies; although it does not come as a surprise because somewhere, somehow we overlooked some essential requirements in our recruitment process,” said Suwedi.
She said they have now started vetting names before recruitment to curb the malpractice.
Recently two police officers in Mzuzu were arrested after being implicated in a robbery in Luwinga Township.