Public Security Minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera told Parliament yesterday that it was unfair to blame the entire police force for the sins of a few errant cops.
Participating in an adjournment debate, the minister said that he would stand by police personnel and assured the House that all necessary action had been taken to maintain discipline in the Police Department.
The Minister said that the motion moved in the House said that the general public had lost their trust in the police after some policemen were found to be involved in illegal activities.
The police today had around 90,000 personnel attached to 494 stations countrywide, the minister said. “The percentage of police personnel found engaged in acts of indiscipline so far is less than one percent. Therefore, I do not agree with any statement to the effect that discipline has deteriorated in the entire service. There is a mechanism within the police service to maintain the discipline of policemen in keeping with the Constitution, the Establishments Code, Police Orders and Regulations, the Police Ordinance, Circulars and Standing Orders. As we know the first COVID-19 infected person was found in this country on March 11, last year and since then the entire police service has been all out to prevent the spread of the virus while performing their regular duties. Since the outbreak of the pandemic to date 23,720 policemen and women had undergone quarantine and of them 6,911 had been infected. Fourteen policemen including five officers of the inspectorate grade had died of Covid-19.
Statistics showed that charge sheets had been issued for various disciplinary actions to 166 policemen in 2018, 274 in 2019, 333 in 2020 and 112 so far this year. There are reports of 153 policemen committing crimes in 2018, 158 in 2019, 164 in 2020 and 92 so far in this year. As for drug related offences involving the police, there were 18 policemen in 2018, 15 in 2019, 44 in 2020 and 15 so far this year. “Taken together these offenders do not exceed one percent of the entire cadre strength of the police service including the STF commandos. The fact one should not forget is that these offenders within the service have been captured by policemen themselves,” the minister said.
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)