We need to show our police there is a better way

November 17, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

Imagine a world where the police drive around in a brightly coloured car, emblazoned with “smiley faces”, looking to give presents to people who obey the law.

Clearly not South Africa … we would struggle to find a roadworthy cop car, but even if the officers did go out looking for good people, they would probably be frustrated.

The Abu Dhabi cops’ Happiness Patrol is a specially liveried Mercedes Benz 500 SL, whose officers patrol the streets to find people who are actually obeying the law.

They track them and if their behaviour is consistently good, the officers pull them over and instead of writing out a ticket, issue them with a voucher instead which can be redeemed for goods, services or even cash.

It can also be used to offset any demerits they might have against their licence for previous infractions. Then there’s the Kids Police, a specially painted Fiat 500.

The little car is inoffensive and happy and the cops use it to help change children’s attitude about the police.

Granted, the emirate is wealthy and its people are law-abiding, but what is happening with law enforcement in Abu Dhabi shows that, with commitment and will – and backed by cutting-edge technology – 21st-century policing can dramatically bring down crime and have a positive effect on the morale of citizens.

By comparison, our law enforcement system – like most of the rest of the country – is crumbling before our eyes.

Corruption is rife and morale is low, which means that our policing is more than inefficient, it is moribund. That, in turn, encourages criminals, because they know they can get away with it.

Even law-abiding people feel defeated and themselves don’t do the right thing. We need to send our cops to places like Abu Dhabi to show them there is a different, better, way.

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