CAIRO: Following the much criticized extension of the Emergency Law, some 240 protestors demonstrating in support of two judges facing disciplinary hearings were arrested by police.
The relationship between ordinary citizens and the police forces has always been a tumultuous one, and so The Daily Star Egypt took to the streets to find out how citizens view the police.
In my career, we face a lot of problems because of police; usually, the lower ranked officers bother us just to prove that they have authority. There are many small officers who haven’t gone beyond the preparatory stage in studying. They simply show off their uniforms. I obtained a high degree and am working as a taxi driver to earn my living. This is the case in our country.Amin, taxi driver
I can’t blame some officers for dealing with people in a bad way. We as a community can’t have strict rules without a strong hand to apply it. For instance, people followed the rules in the subway when we applied a strict fine-system. So when we knew that if we did something against the rules we would pay a sum of money, we followed them.Gamal, retired army officer
I hate the recommendation system (Wasta) we have here. Just to know that the person is an officer or a high-ranking official, or even a relative to a person you find all the doors are open, while those who have no support face a lot of problems and mistreatment by police forces. I believe that they should teach them in the police academies that we are human beings, the same as they are. We are not inferior to them.Saleh, civil servant
I remember when I went to the police station to report that my car stereo was stolen. It took me two hours to do so. I had to call everybody ‘sir’ just to make them notice. When I finally filed it, I decided to just buy myself another cassette player. Another important decision I took is that I will not deal with the same police station again.Mohammed, accountant
We have a cultural barrier between people and police forces. Frankly I know many nice police officers who are respectable, especially the younger generations who come from a higher level in society.Ashraf, engineer
The officers are ok. They are well educated, but the problem is in those others who came from their native villages just to prove to themselves that they are important. I remember I went to buy a box of cigarettes and it was 3:00 a.m. I found two people stopping me and asking where was I going. They insulted me, treated me very badly until they saw my ID card and knew that I was a resident of the neighborhood. Their excuse was protecting us from thieves. On another note, my laundry was stolen a week later.Ramy, technician