The Independent Policing Oversight Authority has raised legitimate questions about the safety of police officers in view of rising cases of assault.
This follows a video clip that has been widely circulating in social media where a tuk-tuk operator reportedly accosted officers who had stopped him for inspection.
We must state right from the outset that police officers deserve respect. They have a duty to enforce law and order. It is sheer madness when mobs beat up police. We cannot countenance a scenario where individuals take the law into their own hands and fight police officers.
This is why the suspects ought to be seized and subjected to the legal process.
Clearly, this demonstrates that police need protection. Besides the physical risks they also work under difficult conditions. Most of them do not have proper accommodation. There is a need for far-reaching reforms to improve the terms of service and working conditions of the officers.
However, this brings to the fore the issue of how police carry out their duties. Often, most tend to be ruthless and unreasonable.
Some are notorious for extorting money from public transport vehicles and other businesses. Such acts undermine their authority.
This is why police officers must conduct themselves according to the law and give honour to their office. Laws cannot be enforced through unorthodox means.
However, drastic action must be taken against those rogue individuals fighting police officers as we cannot allow anarchy to thrive in the country.
We must create a conducive environment for the law enforcers to work. But it is also calls for professionalising the police service to ensure that the officers act lawfully and do not compromise their authority.