Senior police officers were responsible in curbing crimes within their jurisdictions, Defence Secretary Major General (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne said on Tuesday (June 30).
The Defence Secretary made this statement while addressing senior DIGs and DIGs representing all provinces of the Sri Lanka Police at a special meeting held at the Defence Ministry, noted the Ministry of Defence, in a statement issued on Tuesday (June 30).
Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne had emphasized that senior police officers-in-charge of provinces should be ashamed of wearing their uniforms, if drug trafficking, extortion, underworld activities, illegal logging, running brothels, illegal sand mining and other illegal activities were taking place in massive scales in their respective divisions.
“You need to curb illegal activities that are increasing at an alarming rate without heeding to forces that might influence you and also protect the dignity of the uniform that you wear. No police officer, from senior DIGs, DIGs to OICs in the area, can wash off their hands as they all are responsible for the increase in the rate of crimes in their areas,” the Defense Secretary had told senior DIGs of Sri Lanka Police.
According to the statement, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne had advised police officials not to consider the Police profession as just another job as the lives of the citizens were in their hands.
“The responsibility of the armed forces is to protect people in events like major natural catastrophes such as floods and landslides, terrorism or hostilities and also virus outbreaks like Coronavirus. But you are the ones who know the pulses of the people. Therefore you shoulder a bigger responsibility in protecting people’s lives,” Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Gunaratne said adding that while many police officers are serving in a dignified manner, some are a disgrace to the entire police department.
Furthermore, the Defence Secretary noted he had received letters from the public from different police divisions stating the inefficiency of some policemen, including top police officials in the areas, in curbing crimes and also their involvement with criminals in those areas.
It was also revealed by the Defence Secretary, that although the Defence Ministry, in a letter issued on 5th April 2020, instructed Superintendents of Police (SP) to prepare reports on the underworld criminals and drug traffickers in the respective police divisions, they have failed to submit those reports to the Ministry, so far.
“If it took two-and-a-half months to implement, how could we take the perpetrators to book” the Defence Secretary queried referring to the failure of SPs to follow instructions.
The Defense Secretary has instructed the acting Inspector General of Police Chandana Wickremaratne to look into the matter.
He stressed that when directives were issued by the Defence Ministry or the IGP, it should not be considered as directives issued by a corporation or any other government institution as it was a matter related to national security.
“Police officers were responsible for maintaining national security as they are the main contributors to create a fear-free environment for the people to live freely,” Maj. Gen. Gunaratne further emphasized.