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‘Complaints Board to reform SLP’

- President Koroma

October 21, 2015 By Victoria Saffa

President Ernest Bai Koroma has stated that the establishment of the Independent Police Compliants Board (IPCB) is to strengthen and reform the Sierra Leone Police (SLP).

He made this pronouncement yesterday during the official launch of the IPCB at the Miatta Conference Center; an event also attended by Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh, Inspector General of Police Francis Munu and Cabinet ministers.

According to President Koroma, the IPCB is a mechanism put in place to strengthen the Sierra Leone Police to perform its role better, recalling that in July this year the IPCB briefed him on its roles and responsibilities and also presented a situational report to Parliament despite the effect of the Ebola virus disease.

He said the citizenry now has a place to lodge complaints against police officers, noting that an independent report ranks the Sierra Leone Police as the best in West Africa while another states that Sierra Leone is the safest place to do business.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director, Sudipto Mukerjee, stated that they decided to support the establishment of the IPCB because in 2013 the Security Council decided that the United Nations should continue engaging in security in Sierra Leone in a bid to preserve law and order and promote human rights.

He said the IPCB people are from different sets and they can remain independent so that people can access justice through them, and that their organisation will continue to render support to them.

Giving an overview of the IPCB, Minister of Internal Affairs, Joseph Bandabla Dauda, explained that the IPCB came into existence in July 2013 through the Police Complaints Regulations, saying the Board provides the need for the police to be subjected to external review, recommend remedial actions and to improve on accountability.

The minister stated that the IPCB’s mission is to build public trust and confidence in the SLP by seeking to establish the truth, determining facts, and ensuring that justice prevails.

British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Peter West, making a statement on behalf of the Access to Security and Justice Programme (ASJP), said the quality and efficacy of such an institution will play an important role in the efforts to attain a middle income status and moving the country forward.

In his closing courtesies, Chairman of the IPCB, Valentine T. Collier, said the Board is an independent civilian oversight body for the police, established by the Police Council under section 158 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone.

He said the launching of the IPCB is to protect people from abusive police practices and through its work, the Board is a means for the public to hold the police accountable for any misconduct or violation of human rights.

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