May 23, 2017 By Rafieu Williams Jnr.
African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum Director, Sean Tait taking to newsmen after the training
African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) has kicked off a four -day training on case management and investigations, for various securities forces and other agencies that involve in civil and criminal investigation.
The training which was held at the Independent Police Complaint Board, attracted participants from the Sierra Leone Police, Metropolitan Police, Human Rights Commission, Financial Intelligent Unit, Office of the Ombudsman and CDIID, among others.
The Director of APCOF, Sean Tait, said the focus of the organization was to advocate for civilian oversight policing across Africa, as there were only four oversight bodies that focus on the police in the continent.
He said investigating police on corruption and sexual violence issues committed by police officers was critical in democratic states.
He said Nigeria has a Police Service Commission but those that oversee the work were not police officers, unlike in Sierra Leone which has established an independent commission to investigate colleagues that involve in crimes.
“The only body in the whole of Africa that investigates police officers is here in Sierra Leone and that is the Independent Police Complaint Board.
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We are very happy for the establishment of the IPCB here in Sierra Leone and what we are doing is to capacitate them with technical training and networking opportunities. So this investigation training is design specifically for police oversight investigation,” he said.
He said they were aware that the Sierra Leone police was professional and have high ethical knowledge in Human Rights issues but that could not eclipse the their work.
Among other issues, the training focused on human rights frame work of the police, investigating skills, managing crime scene, collecting and preparing evidence for prosecutions, recording statement from the witness and how to work with victims in sexual penetration.
“We are also looking at analyzing electronic and physical evidence and the protection of the identity of the witness and building up your case with the view to corroborating your evidences in court,” he said.
Chairperson of IPCB, Valentine Collier, said the significance of the training cannot be overemphasized, as police investigating colleagues might be different from the normal criminal investigations.
“When police investigate civilian is different from when police investigates his colleagues. It involves some technicality which may be different from the normal criminal investigations,” he said.
Meanwhile, the training would end on Friday (26th May,2017)