OPINION

What kind of police do we want?

Sometimes, when the police force is required to react to a situation, what you see is not a troop of officers whose duty is to uphold and enforce the law, but a unit of conventional public servants who couldn’t care less. Yesterday, for example, armed policeman came face to face with the terrorists who were about to blow up a bank and chose not to go after them or even try to apprehend them. Of course, this is only natural in a country where a large part of the leadership and political elite chooses to take a passive stance on the issues of terrorism and violence more generally. It is natural for individual police officers to think twice, or even three times, before putting their very lives at risk when they feel that they will not get the necessary political backing and support if anything should go wrong or should they act contrary to public sentiment. It is also very natural that, given this stance on the part of the police, terrorism is free to run wild and violence to spread, while the role of the police is limited to little more than a public relations tool to be used when needed.