Are our freedom days soon to end?
It's probably too little too late, but it would be remiss of me if I did not add to the debate on whether soldiers should be precepted.
The Government seems determined to pass related legislation in their desperate bid to curb crime. If they do, then it's an open admission that they have lost confidence in the police. If they believe that it's just a matter of giving soldiers the power of arrest they are wrong. It's much more than that. It's many months of training in law, police duties, conflict resolution, court process and prosecution. Are soldiers going to attend Police Training School or open their own training facility, and at what cost? Are they all going to be constables? Where are the higher ranks in police work going to come from? How would soldiers feel about taking orders from the police?
Paramilitarism could lead to abuse of citizens rights and other atrocities, as it supports the ideologies of secret police and death squads.
Paramilitarism is a short cut, but in the long term may be too high a price to pay for the freedoms and liberties we now enjoy. The long way around may take a little longer but the results will be sure. Are our freedom days about to come to an end and will a new era of fear and anxiety become the order of the day?
The greatest impact that combined forces of police and soldiers will have will be negative — against the law-abiding citizens and not criminals.
The criminals will go into hiding or spread out around the country, and citizens will become fearful and anxious against abuse of power by these soon-to-be-formed squads. No other government ever contemplated such a model because the highest standards of democracy were always a priority.