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Sierra Leone Police deplorable conditions of service

Sierra Leone Police deplorable conditions of service

Many apparently aggrieved police officers have been telling me that they are working under very unpalatable conditions of service and some have been bold enough to tell me that it is only through corruption that they can keep their pots boiling. They have been expressing their dissatisfaction over the pittance salaries they take home which, the blunt ones say, is primarily responsible for their involvement in street bribery and other forms of corrupt practices.

Although low salary cannot be an excellent excuse for corruption, as many highly paid officials are most corrupt, it bears the potential to tempt people to engage in corrupt practices just to survive the system. Where survival is threatened, morality takes the back seat.

While agreeing that many people are naturally corrupt, regardless their financial status, I am firmly convinced that some people are coerced by survival to indulge in corruption, not everybody is corrupt by nature. Therefore, let us pay our police well and see whether they will continue to take bribes on the street; whether they will continue to ask complainants to buy paper and provide other logistics to facilitate their cases; whether they will continue to demand money for bail and whether they will continue to compromise cases for money.

If we pay our police officers well and see them continuing corrupt practices, we will have every moral justification to criticize them or even recommend drastic penalty for them. Whatever the case, it is quite illogical to pay police officers deplorably and set them to catch affluent thieves, there will be the highest possibility that the thieves will corrupt the police officers.

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