KUNDIAWA - The recently announced (and quickly abandoned) cash incentive for police in the National Capital District Command based on the number of arrests they made was highly dangerous.
National Capital District metropolitan chief superintendent Perou N’Dranou came up with the short-lived plan in which each unit was to be given a target ranging from 10-15 arrests.
The incentives for each arrest made by units were K300 for public safety, K300 for traffic, K200 for mobile squad and K500 for CID for every two completed hand-up briefs.
N’Dranou said the scheme would push officers to work towards ensuring "arrests records were up to date".
I don’t think that reason was genuine and would benefit the public in any way. N’Dranou should have known better.
Police in the national capital are well known for all the wrong reasons – their drunken behaviour and violent human rights abuses, including murder.
In this time of economic hardship when everybody including police are desperately looking for ways to earn extra money, the ‘cash-for-arrests’ plan would have been a great incentive for police to make unnecessary and unlawful arrests.
There would have been more police harassment, brutality and human rights violations in a policing environment already characterised by great unhappiness at best and out of control criminality at worst.
Current public perceptions of police is that they are corrupt and violent drunkards who are an enemy of the public.
The proposed scheme was also unfair to the hard-working policemen and women in other centres.
Fortunately, police commissioner Gari Baki quickly stamped on the proposal, saying it was "well meaning" but would not go ahead.
"This is totally wrong and counter-productive so I will not allow it to be implemented," Baki said.
"Policemen are among the highest paid public servants in the country. They are a privileged lot."
Now we’ll wait to see how the Port Moresby police who would have benefited will react to this setback to their cash flow.