UNIPSIL’s Police and Security Unit in accordance with the mandate provide support to the Government of Sierra Leone in the area of national security. This includes capacity building and training of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), mentoring, monitoring and advising the SLP, i.e. in Crowd Control and Gender Policy Training, as well as mobilizing funding from international organizations and partners in support of SLP operations. Further core tasks in the UN support to national security are to develop integrity, accountability and professionalism within the SLP, and, to build the institutional capacities, to respond to the threat posed by illicit drug trafficking and organized crime in Sierra Leone
Capacity Building of the Sierra Leone Police
Enhancing the capacity of the Sierra Leone Police to provide basic and quality police services to the community is one of the core tasks in the UN support to national security. To achieve this goal, specific teams shall be deployed to the main SLP Regional headquarters in BO, Kenema, Koidu and Makeni.
UNIPSIL Police and National Security Unit Professional Standards Advisors
In accordance with its mandate, professional standards advisers have been providing support to Sierra Leone Police to enhance the professional capacity of the personnel and structure of the force to form integrity, professionalism and accountability within the force. UNPOL officers emphasize the establishment of discipline based on respect to the other members and professional codes as the basic requirement for the desired level of motivation and performance.
They support SLP with the fight against professional misconduct such as police corruption, police brutality, arbitrary and false arrest, inappropriate use of force and firearms, sexual abuse. This is done by supporting CDIID (Complaints Discipline and Internal Investigation Department) to strengthen its capacity to:
- Conduct investigations in a professional and timely manner
- To investigate cases of officer involved the death or serious injury to citizens
- To conduct pro-active, undercover investigations into allegations of police corruption and extortion
- To ensure that all rules, policies and procedures are adhered to by SLP personnel
- To monitor, evaluate and promote professionalism and efficiency in all police functions.
UNIPSIL Police section has been supporting the establishment of an independent police complaints board. This body will investigate serious cases of police misconduct which are believed to provide the public of Sierra Leone with accountability of SLP and their complaints against the police officers will be seriously considered and dealt with rigorously, fairly.
Building institutional capacity to respond to the threat posed by illicit drug trafficking and organised crime in Sierra Leone
- Providing technical advice and support to the government, national law enforcement authorities and agencies and UNIPSIL in the fields of organised crime, drug control, law enforcement and criminal justice;
- Liaising with relevant regional and international operational counterparts with a view to both facilitate the delivery of technical cooperation inputs to national counterparts and avoid duplication;
- Liaising with relevant civil society and non- governmental organisations actively involved in the national effort against organized crime and the trafficking of drugs and fire-arms, particularly drug demand reduction treatment, rehabilitation and prevention centers;
- Mentoring, advising and assisting in the case operations and investigations of TOCU;
- Strengthening the capacity of airport security personnel to interdict the illegal trafficking of such contrabands as drugs, precious minerals, as well as of human beings in and out of Lungi Airport.
In the past one and a half years, UNPOL helped build the capacity of the SLP and other law enforcement agents by supporting the elections-specific training of 10,500 personnel. Also 2224 Operational Support Division officers were trained in public order management. 19 Communications Officers were trained on effective communication.
Working with UNDP, UNPOLs have been ensuring that the Election Basket Funds support the SLP in ensuring free and fair Elections. Five new HF base radios and 100 VHF hand-held radios handed over to the SLP recently. Also, two new Toyota Dyna mini trucks were procured to strengthen the fleet of SLP vehicles.
Monitoring the Readiness of Joint Operations Centers:
UNPOL also obtained funds for the SLP, to visit and assess the operational readiness of their Incident Command Centers and Forward Control Points all over the country.
In view of the dynamic nature of security threats, regular meetings have been held at the National Joint Operations Center (NJOC) at Murray Town, to assess crime and future deployment of personnel and resources. A Threat Assessment Review Group (TARG), was created with members of the Office of National Security (ONS), Sierra Leone Police, Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) and UNIPSIL, and it has been working to provide necessary information on security issues. This will help to prepare a Threat Register. Meanwhile, Local Unit Commanders are being tasked to address issues within their capacity, while the Police Executive Management Board handles more complex issues.
Composition of Police and National security unite
1 Senior Police Advisor - Freetown
1 Planning officer/Deputy - Freetown
1 Professional and standards advisor including one national, Freetown
1 Counter Narcotics Advisor to WACI - TOCU, Freetown
1 International TOCU Project officer, Freetown
2 Airport Counter Narcotics Advisors at Lungi Airport
2 Sierra Leone Police Officers
8 Temporary Elections Officers posted to SLP Operational Planning, Bo, Kenema, Kono and Makeni for the duration of the Election period.