8 February 2013

Sierra Leone: Police Chase Youths for Reckless Dressing

Freetown — Some personnel of the Sierra Leone Police yesterday resorted to chasing and beating up youths who were movingaboutthe city, especially along Kroo Town Road and Adelaide Street, perceived to have dressed in a reckless manner.

Though no official authority was said to have been given for the act, some Sierra Leoneans welcomed the move by the police while others condemned it saying it was a complete violation of citizens' rights because such act is not part of the country's law books.

A man who came through Berwick Street in central Freetown received some lashes before being told by one of the police officers - who are yet to pass-out from the training school - to dress properly.

"The conduct of the officers is unprofessional and not in place. I expected them to advise people to dress up properly instead of beating them," a man who was at the scene said.

Rather than concentrate on the implementation of Operation Waste Improvement and Decoration (WID) as mandated, the officers moved up and down the streets of Freetown looking out for those who they perceived as dressing in a reckless manner.

When contacted by Concord Times to comment on the sudden war against reckless dressing, Head of Police Media Unit, Assistant Superintendent Ibrahim Samura stated that the officers were sent on the streets to enhance Operation WID and not to chase and beat up people for reckless dressing.

"I am not aware about police officers chasing and beating up people to dress up properly. They were on the streets to enhance Operation WID and not to chase and beat-up people to dress up properly. I will immediately inform my bosses about this development," he assured.

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