On this day, the 152nd Police Day is celebrated, under the theme, A Dignified Enduring Mission with the objective of making Sri Lanka Police, which closely associated with Sri Lankan community for a period of 152 years, the bosom companion of the public with the help of community policing concept.
ature has endowed the human beings with a higher cognitive capacity, which surpasses that of all other living beings, probably as a means of ensuring the existence of the world.
Thus, we are born into this world and lead our lives as social beings. Concerning our lifespan from womb to tomb, and even further in case of illegitimate conceptions or illegal exhumations, Sri Lanka Police is entrusted with the bounden duty of shouldering the constitutional responsibility and ensuring the safety of the general public of our motherland.
Adopting the Buddhist words of wisdom, “Dhammo hawe rakkhathi dhammachari” (One who lives with the Dhamma is protected by the Dhamma) as its motto, while wearing the emblem bearing a dauntless tusker in the middle and the dharma chakra (Dharma Wheel) on the head, Sri Lanka Police is dedicated towards maintaining law and order while safeguarding lives and property of all Sri Lankans.
This is considered to be one of the major organizations among the three State institutions, which were initially established in this country and its glorious history and the 152nd anniversary is thus celebrated with great vim and gusto.
Sri Lanka Police also marks the inception of the first security service in Sri Lanka. The history of the security service of this country goes back to the reign of King Pandukabhaya and this service owes its origin to the position named, Nagara Guththika. It has gradually evolved up to the Dutch and Portuguese eras. After occupying the maritime areas of the country in 1796, the British established a Police Service in this country.
The Police Force was further streamlined under the regulations imposed by the Act bearing No. 14 passed under the British Crown in 1806 and at the time the Police Force consisted of 28 Police Force Constables.
"This is considered to be one of the major organizations among the three State institutions, which were initially established in this country and its glorious history and the 152nd anniversary is thus celebrated with great vim and gusto"
Payment of salaries to the Police Force was made with effect from July 9, 1833.
Then, 47 Police Stations were established centred on commercial cities and 585 Police Officers were deployed for city protection duties.
The Maradana Police Station was recorded in history as the First Police Station to be established in this manner.
With the appointment of Mr George William Robinson Campbell as the first Inspector General of Police on September 3, 1966, as per the provisions of the Police Ordinance No. 16 of 1865, the inauguration of the Police Service as an organization in this country took place Constitutionally.
The said date has been declared as the Police Day. Since the appointment of Sir Richard Aluvihare on January 6, 1947, as the first Sri Lankan Inspector General of Police, the occidental aura emanated from the Police Service has begun to be overpowered by the Sri Lankan spirit.
At present, Sri Lanka Police functions under the Ministry of Public Administration and Law & Order and has become a solid Government institution, which consists of 64 Functional Divisions, 42 Territorial Divisions, 491 Police Stations with a strength of more than 90,000 Police Officers.
The term ‘Polis’ has been derived from the French language and it means, ‘The guardian of the civil administration’.
There is no other public institution than Police organization, which faces greater challenges in a country, where the civil administration is in effect due to the absence of internal disputes.
The Sri Lanka Police, which has encountered three internal civil disputes, has faced many daunting challenges subsequent to the war situation prevailed for three decades in North Eastern Provinces.
The duties of a Police organization in other countries are investigation of crimes, crime prevention, maintenance of law and order and traffic management.
However, the professional role of a Sri Lankan Police officer is played in a more complex way.
In addition to the basic police duties such as crime investigation, crime prevention, maintenance of law and order and traffic management, the citizens of the country currently expect the police to perform tasks such as implementing laws on liquor and narcotics, prevention of communicable diseases like dengue, protection of forests, coastal conservation, wildlife conservation, prevention of illegal sand mining and illegal excavation, even though there are separate Government bodies which are functioning to implement such environmental laws.
At present, even the safety of the railway crossings is ensured under Police supervision. Thus, the duty of the police officer has become extremely complex.
On the other hand, it brings us great pleasure to think of the sense of confidence Sri Lanka Police has inspired in the Executive, the Legislature and the general public for choosing us to assign a significant share of all these tasks.
In other countries, usually, the Police officers are not assigned to other duties.
However, the Sri Lankan Police are deployed for the performance of other duties and a different structure has been designed for that purpose. The officers of Sri Lanka Police are discharging those duties on a daily basis and sometimes even the officers of the Special Task Force, which is the elite paramilitary forces unit of Sri Lanka Police, might assume the role of a valiant soldier, while discharging ordinary Police duties.
Sri Lanka Police that has inherited a proud history of 152 years, is offering many services covering various fields to more than twenty million Sri Lankans.
Protecting lives and property of Sri Lankan citizens, Sri Lanka Police have presently become a bosom friend of the general public and it stands upright like a giant tree above a thick canopy of praise, blame, commendation and criticism while confronting all the difficulties and challenges around the clock in both sun and rain.
The number of Police Stations that was 437 in 2015 have been increased up to 492 to date by the present Inspector General of Police, Mr Pujith Jayasundara, who pays special attention towards improving the basic facilities and service facilities necessary to fulfil the public needs efficiently by bridging the gap between the public and police.
This provided a great relief for the people who had to travel a long way with great difficulty to get services from Police.
New Police Stations have been established by further segmenting some of the larger Police Divisions.
This has further reduced the population density of a respective Police Station and therefore those people have been able to get their services more efficiently.
Furthermore, taking measures to develop human and physical resources in Sri Lanka Police with the intention of ensuring the security of the society in a peaceful country can be perceived as a huge achievement of the citizens of this country.
This becomes evident when analyzing statistical data of 15 years in which the tendency to talk about criminal incidents have increased. Criminal incidents were also reported during the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 when compared to the present.
However, since news articles on war had occupied more space on newspapers, incidents of crimes did not attract much public attention then.
After 2009, headlines related to war had been replaced with headlines about criminal incidents, creating a basis for discussion. That is not a factor which should be construed as an increase in crimes.
"The number of Police Stations that was 437 in 2015 have been increased up to 492 to date by the present Inspector General of Police, Mr Pujith Jayasundara, who pays special attention towards improving the basic facilities and service facilities necessary to fulfil the public needs efficiently by bridging the gap between the public and police"
Through the application of modern technology for investigating crimes, Sri Lanka Police has been able to initiate a significant development in the field of investigation.
A great assistance is being given by Scene of Crime Officers (SOCO) who have undergone a proper training, officers and hounds of Police Kennels Division, Fingerprint Officers and Photographers of Police Criminal Records Division to facilitate the investigations and to identify criminals.
At a time when the entire world is shrinking into a small global village, even the criminals in our country have gained access to the modern technology under globalization and show a tendency to employ modern technology and communication methods to commit crimes.
Confronted with the challenge of protecting people from those who commit organized crimes, while being members of crime networks, Criminal Investigations Department is taking measures to shoulder their responsibility and all Police Stations of the Island are also extending a great support in that regard.
May Sri Lanka Police endure through time executing its legendary mission!
The writer is an Attorney-at-law, Police Media Spokesman and the Director and of the Police Media Division.