An incident of two police officers allegedly abducting three youths for ransom, as this newspaper reported yesterday, is a matter of serious concern for the public who rely primarily on the police to protect them. While we are relieved to hear that the two officers accused of the crime were arrested, we are also worried about the impact this has on public trust. The general public is already wary of approaching law enforcers because of past experiences, and events and such instances of criminality only reinforce their mistrust of the force.
In this instance, not only did the two officers abduct the three youths, they also threatened to kill them in “crossfire” unless their families agreed to pay ransom. This is particularly frightening given that death from police crossfire has become rampant in our country—which is a concern in and of itself—and that investigations of such events rarely, if ever, produce a narrative contrary to what the officers involved in them say had happened.
According to the Gazipur police, these two officers had successfully acquired ransom from others earlier, which simply goes to show the lengths their criminality had reached. And while we wish we could say this was an isolated incident, between 2012 and 2017, we saw 721 criminal cases being filed against policemen; and only a week ago, members of the force were again caught trying to frame a rape victim in a case of yaba possession in an attempt to protect the real criminals.
All these occurrences, including the most recent one, only damage the image of the police in the public's eye. Which is why the police must work overtime to try and regain their faith—a prerequisite to people having confidence in the overall state of law and order in our country—by taking exemplary measures against the criminal elements that lie within its own ranks.