Policing has become very essential in ensuring peace and security in evolving societies because of the existence of crime in very sophisticated forms.
Apart from making sure peace prevails, even in the most turbulent of situations, the policeman or woman has become the one who is looked up to to provide security for members of society who feel threatened at any time by anyone or any situation or circumstance.
It is for this reason that the public is always advised to report any semblance of threat, first to the police, who are trained and equipped to conduct investigations and provide succour, in order to eliminate any perceived or real threat and ensure calm and safety.
However, in recent times, some policemen have shirked that onerous responsibility that has been placed on them by the state, which has invested so much in training and equipping them, to make sure they are able to perform their roles effectively.
It is a known fact that criminals today use sophisticated gadgets and means to outwit and inflict pain on their victims and that sometimes the police are themselves overawed by the sheer intelligence of the criminals.
Yet we know that the government continues to update the skills of our policemen and also re-equips them with modern firearms, so that they are able to match the criminals boot for boot.
The police, therefore, do not have any excuse to renege on their primary duty to provide security for the citizenry. We are, however, dismayed that time without number some policemen had declined to offer help when citizens in distress had called on them for assistance, citing the unavailability of vehicles or personnel as an excuse.
In other cases, they have plainly been negligent in the performance of their duties.
A case in point is the recent murder of a third-year Banking and Finance student of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Jennifer Attieku, by her taxi driver boyfriend, Paul Evename, who said he had stabbed her because he could not stand the pain of losing her.
The Daily Graphic believes that Jennifer’s murder could have been prevented if the police had acted with due diligence when she and her brother, Alfred, on November 10, 2015, lodged a complaint with the Legon Police that Evename had threatened her life.
As it turned out, the Legon Police granted Evename bail the following day, November 11, 2015, without conducting thorough investigations into the allegation of threat lodged by Jennifer and her brother.
Evename’s release on bail, we believe, was what enabled the already incensed boyfriend who had declared his evil intention to carry it through without let or hindrance to do so.
The harm has already been done, with the perpetrator of the crime now in hospital because he had tried to take his own life after killing his girlfriend.
We believe our police must not treat incidents and reports of death threats casually but with all the seriousness such reports deserve, investigate the background of those who make the threats, allow clinical psychologists and psychiatrists to interrogate them and assure themselves that the intended victims are no longer under threat before releasing the suspects.
Even after the suspects have been released, there should be a mechanism to monitor them for a period before the threat is written off.
The police must let the public always feel safe in their hands. After all, the police always drum it home that crime combat is a shared responsibility.