A ten module training manual for the Family Support Unit of the Sierra Leone police has formally been launched on Thursday 26th February in an auspicious ceremony held at the British council in Freetown.
In attendance were the Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, Honourable Haja Musu Kandeh, the head of the Justice Sector Development Programme, Peter Viner, A.I.G in chare of training Kadie Fakondoh and a host of distinguished personalities from government and civil society organization.
The chairman of the ceremony was the Assistant Inspector General of police in charge of crime services Mr. Francis Alieu Munu. He considered the launching of the training manual as an important step towards enhancing the capacity of the Family Support Unit (FSU) of the Sierra Leone Police in carrying out their duties in a professional manner. Mr. Munu said that the FSU was established in 1990 in the Kissy police station to respond to cases of domestic and gender based violence. He further stated that the manual will help to direct the FSU on how to determine action against violators of the recently enacted Child Rights Act, Domestic Violence Act, Demolition of Estate Act and the Registration of Customary marriage and divorce Act. Mrs., Battu Jambawai of the United Nations Integrated Peace Building Office who was part of the team that compiled the manual gave a brief background on the purpose of the manual. She said there is need to build the capacity of the FSU within the Sierra Leone police to enable them deal with issues related to domestic and gender based violence in the country as a whole. Mrs. Jambawai went on to explain the nitty-gritty of the ten modules revised manual.
The modules include: the role of the police, the role of the ministry of social welfare gender and children’s affair, international human right standards, principles of abuse, investigation of crimes, how to address gender based violence monitoring and evaluation etc. She also commended organizations like Justice Sector Development Program, International Red Cross, Action Aid, Defence for Children International, The Sierra Leone Police, United Nations Integrated Peace Building Office in Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Police for putting both human and material resources together in preparing the training manual.
The manual will be used to train personnel to further enhance the family support unit whereby they acquire knowledge in areas of investigation, referral and prosecution of domestic and gender-based violence cases. It will also serve as a reference material for Law Enforcement Agencies, Civil Society organizations and women’s group in responding to the needs of victims and survivors of domestic and gender-based violence.
Delivering the key note address on behalf of the vice president and head of police council, the minister of state in the vice president’s office Leonard Balogun commended JSDP its contribution towards improving the Judiciary of Sierra Leone the police force and other areas of good governance.
He thanked all those who contributed towards the preparation of the FSU manual and promised that his ministry will always endeavor to support police at all times.
Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs Honourable Haja Musu Kandeh said the training manual for FSU is a step in the right direction as that will help the police to handle juvenile offenders. A.I.G Kadie Fakondoh informed the guests that the training manual will be incorporated into the police recruitment training.
She called on donors to continue and government to give their support to the SLP.