Police advise journalists, citizens to always carry IDs

By Gladys Kole

The deputy spokesperson of the national police service Brig. Gen.  James Dak Karlo is appealing to people to always carry along with them their identification documents while stepping out of their houses saying it’s advisable because anytime one can be confronted by the law and be asked to produce ID.

He made the call recently while elaborating on the role of the police and media in a seminar that was organized by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with Access to Information Commission and UNESCO under the theme; “freedom of expression and access to information”.

“Everyone is supposed to move with an ID at any time not just the police and journalists because at any time according to the law you can be confronted and if you fail you might be detained because you have failed to give enough information about yourself,” he said.

Deputy police spokesperson said they always give early warning at any time adding the citizens are supposed to cooperate with them (police) but people don’t cooperate with them especially on cases of insecurities in some areas and road ambushes.

“We as a country need media to know what is going on in the entire country and the rest of the world to keep informed, we really need media and media needs us to protect them,” he emphasized.

Addressing the participants at the workshop which included media managers, stakeholders and members of the security sector, Brig. Gen. Dak said they work with the police ethics and the code of conduct that guides the value of their work.

Dak however acknowledges some weaknesses with police investigators and crime reporters.

“We have a problem with our investigators, you have to forgive us maybe because of illiteracy of education and training because, an investigator is a reporter and must always be very honest while taking a statement, he can only choose the witness and keep evidence confidentiality and he must be appropriate,” he lamented.

Dak further stressed that some cases are also sometimes lost due to corruption, adding that’s also tied to the lack of ethical training and the nature of that particular individual officer.

He said Police and media personnel must balance individual right to respect and the right to publish and defend the public with the right information.

“We are coexisting and creating harmony between us and the media, arrest and detention will not be there because all in all we want to keep the public informed,” he assured.

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