Law And Order Establishing Justice Criminology Essay

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The history of the police runs towards the colonial era, where the introduction of paid guards by Dutch to the city of Colombo, to protect it by patrolling during the dark hours. The British took over from Dutch in 1976 and they were able to take the total control of the country in 1805 crushing the Sinhalese throne. British been well conversant about the colonial ruling, introduced a primitive stage of police to island at inception. By appointing of Hon William Robert Campbell as the head of the Ceylon Police in 1866 police service was inaugurated. After 143 years Sri Lanka Police became an indispensable element in Sri Lankan society. The vision and the mission statements clearly indicate it's reasons for existence.

The vision Statement of Sri Lanka Police Towards a peaceful environment to live with confidence without fear of crime and violence

The mission statement of Sri Lanka Police Sri Lanka Police is committed and confident to uphold and enforce the law of the land, to preserve the public order, prevent crime and Terrorism with prejudice to none equity to all [2] .

Being a service provider by origin, its nature of duty and its uniqueness, made the police essential component to the society.

Even though entrusted to maintain law and order in the country by the constitution, they are always in the minus region. Crime rate has increased drastically last few decades. Public who turn towards police, expecting a redress became helpless. Lack of infrastructure facilities, insufficient strength, lack of technology, political influence, taking bribes, corruption and various other reasons have paved the way of down fall of Sri Lankan Police. Even though the 17th amendment to the constitution was introduced by the government to convert the police service independent and allowing them to work accordance with the provisions of any law enacted by the parliament. Nevertheless situation deteriorated to the worst. This commission has been vested with irrevocable powers of recruitment of personnel (other than the Inspector General of Police) transfers, promotions, taking disciplinary actions and dismissals to meet the above conditions but still politicization is spreading through the organization and it's deteriorating the image of the Sri Lanka Police.

In this research, researcher attempt to analyze present situation of Sri Lanka Police by reasoning from public, using a questionnaire. By using the views of public another questionnaire was prepared and directed towards a sample of police personnel consist with few officer in charges of police stations for their views. By analyzing those information attempted to support the hypothesis of police lagging behind.

To support the hypothesis researcher mainly concerned, on the main role of the Sri Lanka Police. This aimed the prevention of crimes. The crime rate of the country taken as the measure to evaluate the present condition of the police.

Furthermore it will be a facts finding mission to produce better proposals for Sri Lanka Police to serve the nation up to the expectations while preserving law and order of the country.




The aim of this research paper is to find out whether the Sri Lanka Police live up to expectations set by the mission and vision of it or if not what are the reasons behind the screen and what will take as remedial actions to overcomes, from existing condition of Sri Lanka Police to fulfil expectations of the 21st century.


With in Sri Lankan boundary a grave crime took place with in every 9 minutes, a murder committed with in every 6 hours, a rape took place with in every 6 hours; a robbery took place with in every 1 hour, a House breaking took place with in every 3 minutes in last year. [3] Is Sri Lanka Police ready to meet challenges in 21st century?


The hypothesis of this research is that the Sri Lanka Police has failed to fulfil the public expectations of 21st century.

The sole responsibility on rapid increase of crime rate lies on criminal investigators and prosecution system of the country. In the absence of private investigators, Sri Lanka Police become the one and only element to handle criminal investigations in the country. Sunday Times 29 Aug 2009


To unearth the reasons for, decline of the efficiency of Sri Lanka Police there by support the research hypothesis of Sri Lanka Police failed to fulfil the public expectations of 21st century.


Following are the specific objectives in this research.

a. To find out areas concerned with Sri Lanka Police and indicate its performances.

To identify the draw backs of Sri Lanka Police to meet their expectations.

To analyze duties performed by Sri Lanka Police and its effectiveness towards the society.

To find out the areas to be improved in the Sri Lanka Police and make recommendations.


Primary data collection Primary data collection is done through two questionnaires in order to get the views of Police personnel and civilians as qualitative data.

Secondary data collection: Secondary data collection is totally done by quantitative data, by taking in to consideration such as number of crimes took place in Sri Lanka during 2005 to 2009.


The time allocated for this research is totally about two and half months, which was not sufficient to gather data using most suitable sampling.



The alarming crime rate in the country concern of the community after the 30 year old war ended in last year. Sri Lanka Police wasted various kinds of roles to play in the society.


Law enforcement. The primary duty of any police is to enforce law stipulated by the constitution of the country. To fulfill this daunting task Sri Lanka Police performing duties such as fighting against crime carrying out investigation in to crimes to find "7Ws" (when, where, with what, whom, why, with whom,) and dangerous drug enforcement. For law enforcement on dangerous drugs a special element has been established. Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) it functions can be divide in to 2 folds prevention and awareness.

Security. Other main duty of Sri Lanka Police is to provide security. For this purpose keep the public security counter terrorism, providing security to public events rallies, riot control and crowd control at functions providing VIP security, assisting prison service, gathering intelligence are done by the police.

Traffic Control. Their main task is to avoid traffic congestion especially during peak hours, and they enforce traffic law and investigate into traffic accidents.

Coordinating Emergency Services. Coordinating emergency services have become a vital role played by police especially at a time of distress. Citizens, rather going towards emergency services turn towards the police. Police acts as coordinating agency and direct suitable emergency service/services for the action. Emergency services such as fire and rescue service emergency medical service military, course guard, bomb disposal, search and rescue, forest services, St Jones ambulance, red cross, disaster relief, life guards are few agencies who work together with police to provide necessary assistance to community. But at times there are ample evidence that when specialist emergency service beyond reach police men played every other role to their ability by providing first aid and fire fighting, shifting injured people to hospital , search and rescue etc.

At the time of humanitarian war against liberation tigers of Tamil Eelam Sri Lanka Police did a commendable job and by hand to hand with 3 service, they prevent killing, attacking, abducting, torture specially in border villages and terrorists liberated from LTTE by security forces on going operations.


The study is being carried out both primary and secondary data/information. To collect required primary data for the research, a structured questionnaire was directed to sample of 30 police officers randomly who are following post graduate diploma in University of Sri Jayewardenepura with the researcher.

Police department was hugely criticized over the years for their delayed responses. Citizens helpless at times they are unable to get assistance of police even they have adequate time for prevention of a crime. So to cater the up rising requirement on 8th December 2004, 119 service was established and it was directly under the supervision of Inspector General of Police. At inception the main aim was to response immediately at the time a crime is taking place, easing the traffic at the time accident and in disaster situations.



During the research, for data collection two major components were identified by the researcher. The police as the party who rendered the service and the people in the society are at the receiving end. The study is being carried out using both primary and secondary data /information. To collect primary data for the research, two types of structured questionnaires were prepared. (ensample attached as Annex "A" and "B") As first type 30 questionnaires were distributed among the 30 randomly selected civilians to get their views on, the service rendered by Sri Lanka Police as individually to him or her and society as a whole. Depending on their answers another set of 30 questionnaires were prepared and directed to the 30 police personnel asking their views. Most of them were Officer In Charges of police (OICs') stations scattered through out the country. Further few case studies were taken in to consideration. Out of 30 police personnel there were a cross section of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to constable class 4.

Secondary data was collected from various publications and from the internet which are fertile grounds for unlimited data. Especially researcher abstracted grave crimes recorded to the police in the years between first nine month of 2009 to 2005 attached as Annex "C "and "D". In this set of data researcher mainly considered about cases reported to the police throughout the year and the no of accused unknown cases for comparison. Further the strength of the police from 2002 to 2008 also considered for the data analysis. (Annex "E").

Case Study 1

3. Nipuna Ramanayake a student of Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) abducted and assaulted by group of police officers. At the time of incident they used a jeep, and weapons belong to police. The main suspect was the son of Director of Colombo Crime Division (CCD) court case is going on but still information are receiving that victims threatening is continuing.

Case Study 2

Bambalapitiya incident was another good example of cruelty of police. On 29th October 2009 a Tamil youth (Balawarnam Sicakumar) resident of Rathmalana was alleged for throwing stones at passing vehicles and trains. People went after him police called for the scene and scene after that was tragic. In front of more than 100 citizens youth was clubbed while he was pleading and allowed to drown while preventing him coming back to the shore.

Case Study 3

At Angulana 2 youths were arrested by police personnel attached to Angulana police station under the direction of Officer in charge for a minor allegation. While they were at the custody they were taken out from the police station and shot at them and bodies were found next day lying at the close by beach. This incident leads chaos residents of that area and it took several days to calm the situation.



This chapter deals with data presentation and analysis of results. Data of this chapter was derived from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data were supplemented by a two semi structured questionnaires directed to two random samples. The first sample consists with 30 citizens from the society. According to there answers given by citizens another questionnaire was prepared and directed to 30 police officers to obtain their views on the citizen's answers. Secondary data included materials from books, publications, journals, articles, seminars and inter net etc. Researcher has also done few case studies on incidents took place recently which Sri Lanka Police involved with.

No of Grave crimes recorded from 2005 to 2009 to police stations and accused unknown occasions out of them were carefully analyzed. Percentage of accused unknown, is farley high (22%). Police unable collect evidence, analyze evidence to apprehend criminals. It permits criminals to continue their criminal behaviour. Conducting investigations on crimes and apprehending the suspects/accuses are the responsibilities wasted on police. It's a another clear indication of the inefficiency of Sri Lanka Police. (Annex "C "and "D")

At the outset it is necessary to know about the public opinion on, what they expected from a police. To determine this, a question was directed in the questionnaire and majority of 83% citizens in the random sample believe that maintain law and order of the country should be the primary duty of a police. Furthermore citizens expected police to be the watch dog of the society.


Maintain law

and order


Figure 5-1 Geographical interpretation of answers to question number 1 questionnaire 1

It is unearthed that the interaction of community with Sri Lanka Police is less. Most of the times people interacted with police when they were found guilty of violating traffic rules and were detected and find. With in one year majority in the sample interacted with police even at once.

In these interactions public were not satisfied on the service rendered to them by police. The statistics reviles, community is not getting the expected service from Sri Lanka Police. Fifth question mostly targeted towards obligatory feature of a Police the "Response Time". This factor most of the time become a deciding factor of effective and non effective. Community unsatisfied on present response time of the Sri Lanka Police. Majority of 73% indicated that the response time of Sri Lanka Police of is far behind than expected level.

Figure 5-2 Geographical interpretation of answers to question number 5 questionnaire 1

More than 89 % out of the sample had agreed that ever-increasing crime rate is a prominent crisis in the society and moreover majority indicated that police is the responsible element for it. Even though poverty, unemployment and some other grass root level matters propelled crime rate, community points up their finger towards police.

Due to the fact that Sri Lanka faced 30 years of war, development was hardly taken place and very less job opportunities were created, youth unrest creped up and involvement of youth on crime increased drastically. With the peace coming up in the country large scale development projects such as "Nagenahira Udanaya" and "Uthuru Wasanthaya" hopefully crate more opportunities for the youth easing the situation,

Unemployment rate: 5.2% (30 September 2008 est.) 6% (2007 est.)

Being the safe guarders of law and order, crime prevention is to be the major role of a any police. But statistics as well people thoughts revels that the crime rate is gone up and its effects are visible in the society. Further more people think that the police is totally responsible for this. Even though poverty level as well as non employment fuels the crime rate people think that the prevention of crime solely lies on the hand of police. As a developing nation poverty is a common and major issue faces by the region and global economic crisis worsen the situation but with the peace central bank reports also indicating a glimpse of improvement of the economy.


Increase the efficiency of police

Reintroduce capital punishment

Government to be changed

Some other step

The 8th question was directed expecting a solution for this adversity. Majority is expected by increasing the efficiency of Sri Lanka Police this can be resolved.

There were few proposals to implement death penalty to reduce rising crime rate. But statistics proved around the world countries/states who had introduced death penalty have higher crime rate than the.

For 8th question next opinion was to reintroduction of death penalty. Death penalty is not implemented in Sri Lanka on convicted criminals for grave crimes since 23rd June 1976 [4] . Capital crimes such as murder, offences against the state, drug trafficking, rape, awarded with the punishment of execution. Sri Lanka voted at the United Nations General assembly for moratorium of execution death penalty. It has proven that introduction of death penalty alone can't reduce the crime rate a research carried out with in the American state proven the case. And the history proves that there were instances, innocents also convicted and given the death penalty.


To cater the changing community expectations and to increase the efficiency of the organizations information technology introduced for the organizations and it paid high dividends for the organization. The knowledge of handling computer is very less among police personnel and it is a clear indication of position of Sri Lanka Police the in 21st century.

Sri Lanka Police was criticized for their late response. 119 services are introduced to hinder it. But 68% from the sample are unsatisfied of the responsiveness of the service.

With the development of the information technology use of computer technology for crime related activities also gone up. Forgery, extortion and kidnapping are some types crimes they committed at the beginning. Credit card frauds, hacking, pornography, threatening, software piracy, publishing and transmitting of pornography are offences that committed in large scale in the world .By using interment criminals used to pass their information employees against their employees divorce husbands against wives ex boyfriends .Sale and purchase of narcotics through internets Nigerian 419 scam. The majority of police officers also agreed maintain law and order as their primary duty

The condition of infrastructure facilities in police stations is in unsatisfactory Mobile patrolling is done by the police in any country as a crime prevention method and it is proven over the years the deterrence it create in the minds of wrong doors prevent them committing crime vehicles (Jeeps/Motor bikes) are essential to cover their respective jurisdictions.

Even though the recruiting process is continuing and the strength increased over the years as shown in the table Annex "D" in sufficient par with growing population and to handle mass and complex duties entrusted to police. After liberating north and east it is essential to establish law and order and it to be done on the debris and to be done in sensitive manner. The majority of police officers stated that the insufficient strength badly effected on police stations effectiveness and efficiency when acting as a unit.


The majority of 87% police personnel agreed that they have to spend their most time on documentation work rather engaging purely police duties. Technology can be used in this regard and time can be saved to

Computer literacy is very low among police personnel and no of computer available in the police stations also limited. Use of type writers for documentation can be seen in most of police station still. Vary rarely use of computers can see in few police stations urban areas. The quality of work as well as the delay caused is enormous and people have to spend hour's days some times weeks to obtain a police report which is compulsory for many matters.

Communication is very essential element for any organization for transmitting information, ideas, opinions thoughts and plan between every level in the organization as well as with in and between organizations. Communication facilities in the Sri Lanka Police is limited to Ultra high frequency (UHF),Very High frequency( VHF) and High frequency(HF) communication sets and Telephones. To improve the efficiency and to reduce the response time good communication means to be introduced.

Bribery and corruption

20. Politicization, bribery and corruption with in the Police system are major reasons for set back of police according to the majority of policemen in the random sample. According to them these have caused breakdown in command structure, as well as a reason for loosing of the trust of community.


Extra judicial killings are a consequence of misuse of anti terrorism law Angulana incident 2 youths were killed while they were in the custody which create major havoc in the society. It tarnished the image of police and trust they had from community.

In Nipuna Ramanayake's incident it clearly depicts how the police have taken the law and order to their hands and inhuman act of the police under the direction of senior officers.

The Law of the country exempts the insane from criminal liability under the section of 338 of criminal procedure of Sri Lanka due to incapacity to know the nature of his act or that the act was wrong or contrary to law. But being the safe guarders of the law police violated fundamentals in the light of the day in front of hundred eyes in Bambalapitiya incident.

On completion of analyzing the primary as well as secondary data it clear that Sri Lanka Police have lots of gray areas that to be improved to provide better service for the community. Majority of the random sample have agreed that Sri Lanka Police far behind of expectations of the society. There by it can be concluded that research hypothesis is proved in a big margin.



It is obvious that it is not possible to satisfy all the parties concerned in a dispute. There is a hidden fact that every one to realize/accept when blaming against police on its corruption. People seek the assistance of a service when a need is arise and most of the time it involves two parties, (the person who is seeking service and the rendering party.) When a service obtained from a service provider other than police, even by giving a ransom every one is satisfied, no complains. When it comes to a matter related to a police three parties. It is obvious that one party will get the disadvantage, then there is a complain, "Police biased, it is corrupted." People in the Sri Lanka Police also a originally segment of the community. Because of that it can be identified as a conflict with in the society rather subcultures. But it is obvious there is a expected service from that subculture who paid and looked after by community.

The inefficiency and incompetent way of conducting investigations on crimes allowed criminals to absconding freely and allowed them continue their criminal behaviour and their by increase the crime rate.

Long emergencies created a culture in the police to deal with civilians as military dealt with battle hardened militants. At the same time they engaged with Special Task Force(STF) effects them a lot. Extra judicial killings may be result of this.

During last three decades have progressively gone thorough a process of militarization due to the demand of the country. It results dehumanization and deterioration of the quality of service.


After the 30 years of war against Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) ended, the government commences development and rehabilitation projects in liberated area and winning the hearts and minds of people become a task, for long lasting peace. Establishing law and order in war torn area is on the shoulder of Sri Lanka Police. While armed forces returning to the barracks, police is to be prepared to take over. The community in North and East governed by an unstructured system executed by LTTE over three decades. So the new systems to be implemented gradually. It should be in the form of assist rather than control.



Following recommendations were made by the researcher to improve the efficiency of the Sri Lanka Police after an extensive study on draw backs of Sri Lankan Police during last decade.

Means methods and tools used for investigations to be upgraded to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Sri Lanka Police. Interrogation labs fitted with hidden cameras, voice recorders, DNA fingerprinting, lie detectors and other latest technology to be introduced to be at step ahead of criminals.

Computer literacy among Police personnel to be enhanced. It will reduce time on paper work and their by will increase time to spent on their primary role of maintain law and order of the society.

Public police relationships to be improve. Confidentially of the information an assurance of protection to the citizens who turned up as informants is necessary to encourage the community to assist Sri Lanka Police in struggle against crime.

Up dated data bank of criminals to be established. By accessing to data bank every police station to be facilitated to pull out and upload latest information about absconding criminals which will immensely help to bring them to the courts.

Combined sharing information system to be implemented with 3 military services to apprehend deserters.

Infrastructure facilities for police stations to be provided and for fund allocation, direct access to be given to IGP to Finance minister and treasury to ensure continuity of funds for police.

Reduce the response rime 119 service to be upgraded and to be kept on continue supervision under a very senior police officer.

Sri Lanka Police alone cannot reduce the crime rate, assistance of civilians can play a key role in this. Introducing an information technology related system for public to provide valuable information to the police with out disclosing their identity (unanimously) which help to catch the criminal red handedly or to prevent crimes. And coincidently a rewarded system also to be implement to encourage community.

Net working to be done covering all island vide police station. It will allow speedy communication between stations and police men. Time sensitive information can be distributed to closest units from a centralized information division. Collecting, processing of data of crimes as well as criminals to be done through this division and distribution can be done on request. By net working on mobile phones, police men can be enriched wealth of information at their finger tips. Facilities can be given to police men to access Department of motor vehicles, street maps, crime record centers, and to traffic alerts to deliver his duty more efficiently.

By introducing a system to monitor police vehicles in close vicinity of a scene of crime optimum use of resources as well as wastage also can be eliminated.

Use of Closed circuit Television cameras (CCTV) to be installed specially in urban areas where the crimes take place frequently to capture criminals.

Provide training to enhance the knowledge of police men to conduct effective crime investigation. Police personal to be educated specially on "Do's and Don't". Training of police personnel to developed to suite demanding quality. Training programs to be revising and to be rearrange to produce quality products from police training centers.

Government analyst department is to play effective role hand to hand with police in crime investigation. It is also not developed in a phase that suit for the future. Finger prints analyzing still done visually by experts. Government to be implemented development plan for the department.

Sri Lankan armed forces done a commendable job at the time of humanitarian war by eliminating terrorism country. Armed conflict has damaged the relationship North and South. Sri Lanka Police taking up the control gradually in liberated area. They should be given a training to handle, people wining the heart and minds of the people is very important in this juncture.

!7th amendment tried to address the politicization of the Sri Lanka Police. Promotion criteria is to be transparent and police commission can play a significant role in this. Especially during the time of elections it should be done with the concern of election commissioners. Immediate Post election transfers also to be done after a scrutinizing the reasons.

Appointing a independent body/commission consist with retied judges with power wasted on them to arrest suspend and recommended against convicted police personnel is to investigate fraudulent acts .

A rewarding system to be introduced to recognize honest police personnel and punishment to be strict to influence and deterrent and create fear in the minds of police men to commit bribery and corruption.

A comprehensive study should be carried out on Police personnel's pay and remuneration comparatively to the three forcers (Army, Navy, Air force) and cost of living. Reasonable salary hike to be given which would uplift their job satisfaction and quality of duty and corruption and bribery free work.

A system to be implement to inform the out come of complaints against police officers on disciplinary matters which related to citizens which allows them to built trust on Police.

During last three decades Sri Lanka Police have progressively gone thorough a process of militarization due to the demand of the country. It results dehumanization and deterioration of the quality of service. Uplifting of the professional standards of the Sri Lanka Police to be taken as a challenge for the betterment of the society and to be fulfilled without further delay. There for immediate steps to be taken up to set up full fledged police academy for Sri Lanka Police to train their men.

With in over the past few decades politicization is evident in Sri Lanka Police. It is clearly visible in the matter of recruitment, promotion, transfers, placements, trips abroad and even most of the times routine duties. It results breakdown change of command and encouraged police persons to access to politicians to accomplish their personal requirements. It pave the way to wreaked the disciplinary control. To over come this it is advisable to letting Sri Lanka Police to handle their administrative with out interference.

Long emergencies created a culture in the police to deal with civilians as military dealt with battle hardened militants. At the same time they engaged with Special Task Force regularly (STF) and it may effects them a lot. Extra judicial killings may be result of this.

Fire arms freely available to the criminals because of recently concluded war in north and east especially for under world groups. The deserters of the three forces worsen the situation. In the past criminals used knives chili powder and primitive stage of bomb (dappies) for their activities. But now automatic weapon on the hands of trained people (deserters) made the crime dangerous. It is necessary to detect illegal firearms and seize them with the help of community.

Uplifting of the professional standards of the Sri Lanka Police to be taken as a challenge for the betterment of the society and to be fulfilled without further delay. There for immediate steps to be taken up to set up full fledged police academy for Sri Lanka Police to train their men.