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Post-war Sierra Leone seems to be degenerating into a state of chaos and fear following the continuous rate at which the masses lose confidence at the police and security apparatus of the state.
Although the police are working assiduously day and night to arrest this dreadful armed robbery situation in the country, it seems the more they try, the more it keeps surfacing its menace in society.
The police force in a bid to eradicate or minimize armed robbery within the country organized what is today referred to as a Community-Policing board which normally involves civilian residents, mostly the youths and the police in a joint-patrol system carried out at night to protect residents from being attacked by armed robbers.
This initiative has been working in different communities perfectly. Put it the other way round, it has become a scourge against defenseless youths policing their various communities.
Considering the ugly incident which took place at Wellington, Kuntoloh and Peacock Farm environs respectively last Monday, which left two youths dead albeit gun shots afflicted on their bodies, the situation is let absurd to qualify that the police are now in turn hunting those who are helping them hunting the criminals in the various localities.
On the other way round there seems to be communication problems between the police and members of the police force, because the procedure is each of the forming youths vigilante groups formed should be registered with the police. So in a situation whereby the police come around to checkmate the security primacy of an area, they could simply liaise with each other and harmonize things accordingly.
What is rather happening is that the police and the civil public which is supposed to be of help to the former are misconstruing each other. In fact many quarters have said the spate of armed robbery is rampant because guns are made abundant at the disposal of the police.
The disjoint is that the masses are insinuating that most of the guns the armed robbers are using to terrorize innocent citizens are coming from the police.
There was the Tengbeh Town robbery about two weeks ago when armed robbers forcefully broke into a residence and cart away valuable items, but their streak of luck was cut short when they met with resistance from the police in an exchange gun fight that left one robber dead with a pistol in his hand and another seriously wounded after an SOS call from neighbors that led the police to be on top of that situation, it’s was a job well done.
The Kuntoloh, Peacock Farm incident is an issue that deserves proper investigation as there have been several cases where some police personnel are accused of being involved in armed robberies.
Tuesday 17th April 2012 saw a victim of armed robbery, Amara Jabbie explaining how he was allegedly robbed of his motor-bike by two police constables in military fatigues after releasing two gun shots in the air.
The constables involved include PC 12959 Fengai Yaiba and PC 10505 Malikie Kamara both attached to the Tankoro OSD Division, Kono District. The stolen motor-bike and other items were later discovered at the residence of one of the police officers, but we know that in every institution we have the good seeds and also the bad-seeds, the later must be terminated.
According to residents of the Kuntoloh and Peacock Farm communities the youths are believed to have apprehended a vehicle which was carrying unidentified persons believed to be robbers who abandoned a said vehicle and escaped. The youths, it is said, immediately called the police who came to the scene but to their greatest surprise the police open fire at the youths who called for their assistance.
Eye-brows are raised, pertinent questions are being asked as to how the defenseless youths were mistaken as robbers and who the real ‘Robin Hoods` are, the police or the civilians (youths)? Again, who gave those shot-to-kill orders?
As the saying goes; two wrongs can’t make a right, the Kuntoloh and Peacock Farm youths should not take the law into their hands by perpetrating acts of hooliganism and issuing death treats on the police in revenge of their dead colleagues. It’s human nature to get angry, but they should not allow their emotions to surpass their reasoning.
Today, it’s indisputable that youths all over the country are prone to violent acts, retrospection reveals the May 11th saga which totally involves youth, the Inter Secondary School sports meeting which also ended up in acts of hooliganism in broad day light on innocent people on the streets are just a few to mention.
The police force is dubbed as a ‘Force for Good’ so they should be more careful in executing their duties when chaotic situations arise and must avert this shoot-to-kill policy on its own defenseless compatriots in order to maintain a good force. Who have been giving these shoot-to-kill orders?
The police we believe are doing their best to protect lives and property of its citizens but a single mistake on their side can smear the integrity of the entire institution so it’s advisable that the police should be meticulous in executing their duties. Imagine a world without the police? And who should police the police?
Considering the disarmament process which to many ended up successfully is a farce in reality as some fighters apparently did not surrender their weapons. Armed robbery has become a terrible menace in our society.
According to one of our eye reporters it is revealed that the timely intervention of the police appeared as if they had a tip off that such is about to occur as the street were littered all around with police officers, chasing young people around.
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