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WhatsApp Image 2019 08 23 at 13.18.11The Ombudsman of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Leon Jenkins-Johnston esq. and team from the Office of the Ombudsman has engaged Senior Police officers at various divisions in the western Area. The engagement is part of the ongoing sensitization drive that the ombudsman started few months ago to meet with MDA’s

Speaking to regional commanders at the Operation Security Division (OSD) Headquarters at Brookfields, the Ombudsman, Leon Jenkins-Johnston esq. said that the Sierra Leone Police is a partner to the Office of the Ombudsman and as such he will be visiting other divisions in the coming days to foster the good working relationship. He said that the Office of the Ombudsman has a mandate that stems from the constitution and so the Sierra Leone Police being a “Prescribed Authority” falls under the mandate of the Ombudsman.

 He stated that, the Sierra Leone Police has a duty to secure the life and property of all citizens and therefore urged all commanders to apply justice impartially to everyone without fear or favor. He congratulated the Officers for the accolade the country received as one of the most peaceful countries in the world as this would not have been achieved without the effort of the Sierra Leone Police.

Ombudsman Jenkins-Johnston further assured officers that the Office of the Ombudsman would look into any complaint of bias, injustice and or maladministration suffered by anyone within the public service.

Responding, Head of Operation Support Division (OSD) AIG Augustin Kailie, thanked the Ombudsman and team for the visit. He said that the job of the police is a difficult one, but as officers they have signed up to protect the life and property of the citizenry. He stated that the SLP is doing a lot, but they are not appreciated. He stated that this is due to the fact that since childhood the police have been painted as bad people as parent use the police to instill fear in their children, hence the negative backlash on the police.

AIG Kailie noted he noted that the SLP receives accolades from outside of Sierra Leone, but in country they are seen as bad people.

He stated that the SLP is trying to weed out bad police officers who infiltrate the force through recruitment. He pledged the SLP’s commitment to continue to support the work of the Ombudsman.

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At the Congo Cross Police station, the Ombudsman briefed officers on the role of the Ombudsman. He noted that the Ombudsman deals with issues that happens at the work place such as bias, injustice and maladministration. He spoke on the issue of complaints boxes being placed at all detention facilities. He stated that the complaint boxes are meant for detainees who should be assisted by police to make complaints.

Director Complaint, Mediation and Investigations, Andrew Johnson esq. spoke on the establishment, functions, investigative powers of the Ombudsman and the right of a detainee.

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Local Unit Commander, Congo Cross Division, CSP Harold Hanciles, thanked the Ombudsman and team for the sensitization on the work of the Ombudsman. He pledged the continued support of the SLP to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Similar visits were made to the Lumley and Goderich Police Divisions.