January 4, 2019
The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) in collaboration with the International Security Advisory Team (ISAT), has on Friday ended a two-day national workshop with members of the Local Policing Partnership Board (LPPB) at the Sierra Leone Peacekeeping and Law Enforcement Academy, Hastings campus on the theme “Strengthening Community Awareness for Effective Policing in Sierra Leone”.
The workshop which was geared towards strengthening participants’ awareness on community policing and to increase the level of interaction and consultation among the police, attracted members of the LPPB across the country and other security apparatus.
The Permanent Secretary, Sheku Kamara, who represented the Minister of Internal Affairs, noted that the workshop would provide a forum for a meaningful interaction and consultation among stakeholders with the ultimate objective for reviewing the LPPB constitution.
He said although police have the constitutional obligation to protect lives and properties, community members through their active participation into policing would become effective partners in fighting crimes.
He said their government would ensure the SLP act within the principles and values of the rule of law which requires civilian oversight, consultation and participation for effective state and human security with the objective of fostering sustainable development.
He noted that traditional policing was relevant in the society because it advantages and benefits far outweighs the odds it might create, thus stating that it would help solve lots of community problems without police intervention.
He said the illicit drug use and abuse, gang violence and other crimes involving youth have become a challenge in society, and that addressing it requires a holistic approach and support from all.
“We all need to unify behind the LPPB scheme and stand against crime, violence, lawlessness, impunity and commit ourselves to crime prevention and intervention,” he said.
The Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, Edward Kalia Sesay, who represented his boss, said since the restructuring of the SLP in 1998, community policing has always been an integral part in the overall policing strategy, thus stating that they rely on public trust and confidence in carrying out their constitutional mandate.
He said the local partnership board comprises all relevant stakeholders from all walks of life, including traditional leaders, women, and men, civil society organisations among others to help the police to create safe and secure community.
He noted the LPPB was present in all 36 local commanding units nationwide to support the SLP in carrying out its functions, and that some have succeeded in cascading it to the lowest level by creating arear and zonal policing partnership committees.
“Since the inception of these boards and committees, there has been some remarkable achievements in the work of the SLP in diverse ways,” he noted.
He re-echoed that members of the LPPB and other community stakeholders have helped the police in constructing police stations, police post and donating lands for the construction of police structures, thus making allusion to the Freetown West Regional Police Headquarters at Lumley.
The AIG acknowledged that there have been several joint activities of the SLP and LPPB in the fight against crime nationwide, as they mediate and settle some minor community dispute. He said youth drawn from the communities have also complemented the work of the police in patrolling at night to curb crimes in their respective areas.
He said the LPPB has been the main contact of the SLP outreach programs in communities and was instrumental in the successful implementation of SLP’s community mobilisation and sensitisation process for the peaceful conduct of the 2018 general elections.
Meanwhile, ISAT representative, Chief Superintendent of Police, Hellen Williams, called for amicable work between the police and the community, stating that the police were members of the community and the people and the LPPB should hold police accountable in their operations.
She cautioned the police to hold the human rights and dignity and always ensure that the proportionate use of force should be applicable.