Malawi Inspector General (IG) of Police, Loti Dzonzi, says the Malawi Police Service (MPS) has registered tremendous growth in both human resources and skills in fighting crime and maintaining public security.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday prior to the commemorations of Malawi Police Day which falls on October 15, Dzonzi said unlike twenty years ago, MPS today has more officers with university degrees and that the law-enforcers’ working relationship with the public has increased.
“Twenty years ago there were only about twenty officers with a university degree but today we have more than 140 officers with university degrees, some with Master’s and three officers with PhD,” explained Dzonzi, adding that the service also has 5 fully qualified lawyers.
On whether the Malawi police was moving fast enough to keep in pace with the growing crime rate in the country, the IG said the MPS had increased its officers’ skills to adapt to the changes in crime pattern and ensure public security.
“Malawians are going through tremendous social and political changes and since a human being is dynamic in nature, with a global world where information travels fast, criminals are getting new ideas,” observed Dzonzi. “But as the police, we are also adapting to these changes by increasing our officers’ knowledge and skills to ensure that we fight crime in the country.”
The IG said the police had currently recruited 1,200 people who were about to go for training and that these, when they graduate, would enhance the police’s visibility in the country’s locations and streets to ensure law and order.
Police in the country started on October 15, 1921 as Nyasaland Police Force and it later changed to Malawi Police Force in June 1964 upon attaining independence.
After multi-party democracy in 1994, Malawi Police changed from being a force to a service and in 1995 the law enforcement agency underwent a reform which brought it closer to the citizens through the introduction of community policing, among other things.
According to Dzonzi, community policing has since its introduction strengthened the relationship between the police and the public unlike before when the police worked in isolation.
The commemoration of the Malawi Police Day on Wednesday is the first in 37 years, according to the IG, but he said it would, from now on, be observed every year to allow MPS reflect on the years back, present and future; and to also allow the law-enforcers conduct public awareness of what they do.
President Prof. Peter Mutharika is scheduled to grace the first event in 37 years which will also mark 93 years of policing in the country.
The event will be characterized by traditional dances, police parade, display of pavilions and awarding of medals to a number of officers for various achievements in the service.