Police-Public Partnership (PPP) could be a story of great success. It is already, but we could do more to make our communities not only safe but also peaceful. PPP has a scope to grow.

In a recent meeting between the police and the people in Phuentsholing, opportunities were discussed and shortfalls recognised. Such consultative meetings should happen more often. As citizens, we cannot leave it to a few to protect our society. Safeguarding and nurturing our homes is our solemn duty. Everyone must play their part.

Often, however, our laws come in conflict with their good intentions. Some aspects of our laws, rules and regulations, end up discouraging our people from being active partners of our law enforcers. From the police’s point of view it maybe that a complainant has to be pulled along a certain case to authenticate the case in hand, but this very process ends up becoming cumbersome to those who help the police by way of information. In a small society where everyone knows almost everybody, such situations create living alongside each other difficult. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from this. In fact, we lose a lot more.

How do we bridge this gap? There is but a need to link the police and the public. That’s why there is a lot more we can do.

The move has to be made from the police if anything good has to happen. Our people will continue to aid the police. How safe are our informants?

Drug abuse is eating into the society. But we are busy fighting whether SP+ is SP. Laws and the interpreters of the laws have succeeded in making the matter so meaningless that the problem itself can comfortably recede in a corner. The basis of any law is common sense. If we cannot agree on the power and lucidity of common sense, we have refused to look at the very heart of the problem.

Taxi drivers have openly said that it is a matter of choice for them. They will not report even as crimes happen under their nose because they have to eke out a living by driving passengers around. If they help the police with information, they are pulled in as witnesses. How can we not see this gap?

Trust is in the main. If the public cannot trust our police, partnership is meaningless. And our police cannot expect the public to cooperate if it cannot respect their individuality.

For PPP to succeed, a lot more has to change. And it can be done. That’s the beauty of it – the opportunity. But we cannot waste so much time.