THE Komani police service has been in for a tough time lately.
The arrests of six flying squad members on corruption charges recently was followed by the complaint of a Komani mother who said that police would not follow up on the alleged rape of her two-year-old daughter as the child was unable to communicate effectively.
The child has since been referred to the Bhisho Trauma Centre as the investigation continues.
Last week, a community safety stakeholder session in Komani raised concern over lax and corrupt police members in the area.
The reality is that there are many dedicated, honest and passionate women and men in the police service who serve us all with integrity and respect.
Unfortunately, however, their actions are often diminished by those who choose not to do so.
The police who forget, or choose to ignore, the oath they once swore to serve and protect, act to the detriment of the entire service and negatively affect public perception. These are the police members who are drunk on duty or who are found sleeping in charge offices while they are supposed to be on duty, those who take bribes or become involved in criminal activity.
Police members in South Africa have a dangerous task and put their lives at risk on a daily basis to protect strangers and their belongings. For that, we all owe them our immense gratitude. The public, however, also has the right to expect the police to be above board in their actions and to put service at the top of their list.
Accountability, as in any other sphere of life, is imperative in ensuring that the police service fulfils its mandate. The more the public respects the police, the better the cooperation will be.
We can not compromise on the integrity of the “thin blue line”.