IPCB Registers 54 Complaints


By Ayodele Deen Cole

Secretary to the Independent Police Complaint Board (IPCB), Emerlin George has disclosed that the Board has up to this November registered about 54 complaints from members of the public.

The Secretary made the disclosure at the commencement of a four-day capacity building training programme on civilian oversight for good policing.

According to Emerlin George, they are currently investigating some of the cases, while others have either been concluded or have been charged to court. She furthered that the Board has put on hold their investigations into cases that are in court until legal decisions are made.

On the rationale for holding the training, the IPCB Secretary explained that the programme is part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) annual work plan for this year under “Improving the Rule of Law and Human Rights Programme in Sierra Leone.” She added that the essence of the training is to empower investigators in security institutions to perform their work better by understanding what investigation means, the processes of investigation and so many other details in investigative work.

The Secretary disclosed that about 25 officers from the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Sierra Leone Correctional Service (SLCS) and other police oversight bodies are taking part in the training. She noted that responsible policing is a new phenomenon in Africa, adding that Sierra Leone is leading in the model of IPCB in West Africa.

She stressed the need to change the mindset of the public on the role of the police, noting that in some instances, the public provokes the police on their duties.

The Secretary furthered that there are several other factors that affect the proper environment of policing like politics, economy amongst others.

Emerlin George assured that after the training, the SLP personnel would be able to deal with the everyday problem as they would know how to react when there is a public threat, know when to react when it is minor concern or issue with women, and how to go about gathering information interviews and also preserving forensic evidences.