Freetown, Sierra Leone, Monday 15 October 2018 – Sierra Leone’s Independent Police Complaints Board (IPCB) has presented its 2017 annual report to His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio, during a brief meeting at State House and discussed highlights of their achievements and challenges.
Secretary to the Board, Emerlin George, explained the content of the report and urged the government to address the human resource challenges they faced over the years, the low level of motivation and the fact that they were limited by the extant legislative framework.
“Your Excellency Sir, police accountability is a recent phenomenon in Africa. Granted that there are limitations to what an external civilian oversight body can achieve, yet it is still of importance to recognise the range of potential benefits that can be realised. There is the satisfaction that the forlorn belief that the police are a law unto themselves no longer obtains as they can now be held accountable,” she said.
She thanked the United Nations Development Programme for supporting their work, which she added had been constrained by lack of adequate staffing and the absence of vehicles to deliver on their huge mandate across the country.
In his brief response, President Bio said he had listened to their presentations and would read the report, adding that his government was committed to supporting the IPCB in their effort to ensure accountable policing.
“We will support the IPCB because it helps promote democracy and human rights in the country. Because you get lots of complaints, you should have the statutory status to be able to do your work. I also take your point in getting the full board back at the IPCB,” the President stated.
Established by 2013 regulations, the civilian oversight body has the mandate to receive and investigate complaints about the personnel of the Sierra Leone Police and make recommendations to the Police leadership and the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that just policing is done.
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