By Mohamed B. Kamara
Executive Chairman Richard Shealton Freeman
The Independent Police Complaints Board has held a capacity building and training session on basic investigation skills for civilian oversight practitioners in Sierra Leone. The training took place at their office at New England Ville in Freetown.
The mandate of the Independent Police Complaints Board is to receive, investigate and monitor complaints from civilians about the Sierra Leone Police, in order to protect people from abusive police practices as well as serve as a conduit for the public to hold the police accountable for any misconduct or violation of human rights.
The Board receives and examines all complaints that fall within its mandate and should ensure that citizens have access to prompt and transparent process for handling and investigating complaints. The Board will self-direct investigations and convey the public’s interest in addressing organizational and systemic challenges facing the Sierra Leone Police.
In an interview with Richard Shealton Freeman who is the Executive Chairman, Independent Police Complaints Board he said the training is for IPCB investigators to learn how to carry out investigations involving police officers as offenders and also for them to be able to write reports.
He mentioned that the Independent Police Complaints Board investigates cases of police causing injury to civilians by shooting or through some other way that is not expected of a police officer whose constitutional mandate is to save lives and property.
He added that currently the IPCB is investigating a total of fifty cases involving police as offenders. He lamented however that adequate funding is a challenge which hampers the work of the Board. He used the opportunity to urge the government to come to their aid as the work of the Board is a contributing factor to peace and national cohesion.
He encouraged the public to have trust in the IPCB as they are ready to listen to the public and build confidence.