Malawi Police Service (MPS) is one arm of government and security that ought to be given all the necessary tools for it to fully function without any hiccups. As such, in modern day where technology is the recipe for all operations, it is imperative to ensure that such advancements are given the priority they deserve.
For starters, as a law enforcing agency, record keeping is very crucial for the MPS. They keep information on civil, criminal, fiscal and security issues among many others. Thus, they need to be guarded jealously. One of the most reliable storage systems is use of computers and special database. That would safeguard the information from any damage.
Such information would properly be secured from damage as compared to the paper-based system, which is prone to damage through carelessness, natural disasters and can sometimes be torn apart by some bad aples in the service to conceal some information and evidence in particular matters.
Paper-based systems are prone to redundancy and usually incomplete if not inconsistent. This is very evident with the number of cases whose files and records get missing whilst in the custody of the police. This paints a rather dark and corrupt paint of the police service and how poor they are in managing records.
The Malawi Parliament passed the cyber security law. However, enforcement of such is yet to be noticed. And this regulation largely dwells in the portfolio of the MPS to ensure that cyber bullying, crimes of different nature, including the social media, are properly handled and that those involved are prosecuted and charged accordingly. All this has not been implemented by the MPS and it is pathetic to note that a police service that has been in operation for such a long time does not even have a small local area network of three to four connected computers. The ICT department is absolutely in tatters and I doubt if it really functions.
Most of the official communication circulated by the MPS is oftentimes written by hand and never typed and printed for posterity’s sake. Just recently there was a leaked document on the transfers for most of the staff occupying the residences and office of the Veep and all this was never typed, just hand-written.
Come on, how serious are we with our jobs and communication lines? Does it mean the whole MPS headquarters does not have a computer to formally type and print such communiqué? How safe and secure will this information be kept and filed? Such are some of the sentiments that have been expressed overtime. It seems record keeping in the police service is never a priority and has been thrown to the dogs.
Fancy this, the forensic and finger-print department has a single workstation that has to carter for the millions and yet with a limited number of human resource. This is total madness and chaos, no wonder it is very easy to confiscate or leak high-profile information these days, owing to the poor filing with this poor paper-based system.
In the current wave of modernity and technological advancements, it is imperative that one is accustomed to such and MPS needs to train its human capital in ICT who will rightly implement the computerised system. It’s a mockery to note that the whole police service relies on manual-based systems. Is it a problem to do with the top leadership that maybe it is too rigid to change and cannot embrace the computerised systems, worse still human capital?
It is high time the MPS embraced technology and moved on with current trends on record keeping otherwise we shall remain in the abyss and a laughingstock.