The Local Unit Commander (LUC) of the Bo West Division of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) has said that integrity, professional ethics and accountability remain the core principles of the SLP even though the Force is often confronted with its own unique challenges.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sheku .T. Kamara, made the statement at a customized engagement the Southern Region of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had with the Bo West Division on Friday 11th March, 2022, in the Division’s Conference Room, Dambala Road, Bo City.
He affirmed SLP’s commitment to continue to infuse ethical values and invoke the penal code through the Complaints Discipline and Internal Investigation Department (CDIID) on personnel who are in conflict with the law.
Addressing personnel of the Division, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh, recognized the enduring sacrifices of some police officers who, in the midst of societal pressure and contending challenges to act unlawful, yet uphold moral principles instead of personal benefit.
Mr. Saccoh described the police force as one of the important apparatus in the country’s security architecture not only because of the geographical space it covers but also the high level of public interactions with citizens. “If the security sector is susceptible to corruption, citizens’ living standards will be compromised, and this will open a floodgate for illicit activities, undermine national revenue mobilization, cause blatant abuse of discretionary powers and increase anti-social activities,” he said. He emphasized that non solicitation of bribes, fair treatment to complainants and suspects are some of the ideals that should be put into practice in order to uphold public trust and confidence.
The Senior Public Education Officer reminded the officers of the ongoing online assets declaration exercise and the processes and procedures involved in filling the forms, noting that the submission deadline date is 31st March 2022. He urged those who are required by law to declare their assets to comply because the Commission will invoke the relevant sections in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 to punish defaulters.
In her statement, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Yangie .D. Sesay, said the engagement was intended to emphasize the Commission’s steadfastness to work with the SLP not only to convey anti-corruption messages but also to build integrity systems and corruption vulnerability safeguards in order to enhance efficient service delivery.
Miss Sesay reflected on the 2020 Afro Barometer Round 8 Survey Report which showed that majority of the respondents believed that the Sierra Leone Police is the most corrupt public sector institution in Sierra Leone. She said that such negative perceptions do not only undermine public trust but also societal cohesion, rule of law, and protection of lives and properties. She urged the personnel to put personal interest behind in order to work towards rebranding the image of the Force.
The meeting ended with a question and answer session and presentation of information, education and communication (IEC) materials.