October 2, 2022

Sierra Leone Police(SLP), the principal law agency has promised, through its current Strategic Development Plan, to build strong relationships with other institutions in the fight against crime.
The key institutions including the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces(RSLAF), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Independent Police Complaints Board (IPCB) among others have been identified for partnerships. The RSLAF provides the back-up for the police in the maintenance of state security especially in times of internal disturbances. The ACC partners with the police in the fight against corruption and the IPCB ensure police accountability by investigating police officers involved in serious disciplinary breaches.
However, key donor partners particularly the Department for International Development(DFID) have also been picked up for strong partnership. DFID plays an important role towards funding of key police projects and the training of police officers.
The Strategic Development Plan 2020-2024 indicated that the local policing partnership boards would be strengthened to increase its relevance to the fight against crime.These boards, according to the plan, have been quite instrumental in providing useful information to the police. Such information has reduced the incidents of crime in communities in Sierra Leone. The SDP also highlighted tangible achievements LPPBS have recorded over the years. “ The community relations officers in collaboration with LPPB’s and other community stakeholders constructed the Freetown West Regional Headquaters at Lumley and a police post on Beach Road, West of Freetown,” the document reads in part.
LPPB’s came into existence as a post-war policing strategy. The document that saw the birth of the institutions was validated and adopted in 2007 with the contributions from the military high command, government ministers, paramount chiefs and councillors. Since their proliferations countrywide, crime and the fear of crime has been reduced in various communities in the country.
However, crime statistics over the years, have recorded shown crimes the occurrence of crimes that continue to bother authorities. The annual crime statistics annually compiled by the Corporate Affairs Department of the Sierra Leone Police shows fluctuations in crime rate in the country. “The crime rate fluctuated between 0.96% in 2015 to 0.86% in 2016 but increased to 1.08% in 2017 and fell to 0.80% in 2018,” the report reads in part. The report thus analysed the percentages of crime occurrence thus: The total number of crimes reported increased from 60,634 in 2015 to 61, 188 in 2016 to 76,622 in 2017 and decreased to 61, 753 in 20118. The 2019 crime statistics report is yet to be released by the SLP.
Similarly, the Family Support Unit of the Sierra Leone Police has been singled out owing to the sensitive nature of the offences they investigate. The unit recorded 8,043 cases of domestic violence in 2015, 9,135 in 2016, 9,377in 2017 and 9,121 in 2018. The report further indicated that the figures of sexual penetration stands at 2,398 cases in 2015, 2,149 in 2016, 2, 549 in 2017 and 2, 726 in 2018. The report says there has been an increase in the number of reported number of sexual and gender-based violence cases from 2016 to 2018. The increase, according to the document, is attributed to the sensitisation and awareness-raising campaigns as well as the popularisation of women’s helpline and the increase in the number of FSU’s across the country from 67 in 2014 to 81 in 2018.
Many Sierra Leoneans have expressed contrary opinions on the occurrence of crime and the LBBP’s role in the fight against it. They always the SLP must not rely on “informal relationships” to fight crime. They must strengthen their intelligence networks.