Senior Detectives’ Seminar: "When people fall asleep, they need to know that police are awake”

Kabul, March 2016. The Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI), in close cooperation with EUPOL, organised a three-day Senior Detectives’ Seminar in Kabul at the beginning of March. More than a hundred senior detectives attended the seminar which focused on three policies of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) and also addressed gender and human rights, anti-corruption and counter-terrorism from the CID point of view.

The new policies regarding police intelligence, reporting and recording of the crimes and detection and investigation were presented in the seminar to help the senior detectives in Kabul and in the provinces to improve their CID practices as well as the police-prosecutor cooperation. The three policies had been drafted by joint working groups of the CID and EUPOL.

On the top of increasing knowledge about the new policies, the seminar also embraced a more practical approach. The participants were divided into four working groups to get acquainted with some case studies and criminal cases. The participants realised how important it is to conduct an evidence-based investigation, process the case properly, document it, record and transfer it through the National Information Management System (NIMS) and Case Management System (CMS) and the then pass it to the prosecutors. 

“Sometime a suspect has to be released after the case has been sent to the Attorney General’s Office just because there are flaws in the preliminary investigations. The detectives have to investigate the cases professionally and thoroughly”, said Head of Anti-Crime Police, Lieutenant General Sayed Ghafar Sayedzada. He added that CID departments in the provinces should, for example, fully use the forensic laboratory equipment they have been provided; that is unfortunately not always the case at the moment.

 

One challenge countrywide is that the police in provinces do not report all the crimes: sometimes there are news of serious crimes in TV but no trace of them in the police database. Every crime including “the theft of a chicken” should be recorded and reported, as Lt General Ghafar said.

However, in pursue for truth and efforts to solve the crimes, detectives and other police officers need to remember that only the perpetrator should answer to their crime and it is not acceptable to harass family members and relatives to find a fugitive suspect. Crime is a personal matter, not something that the whole family is automatically responsible for.

 

Seminars like the one held in early March, can considerably help to solve the problems brought up by Lt General Ghafar. As EUPOL’s Acting Head Mission Tarmo Miilits mentioned, the joint experience of EUPOL and the MoI proves that such seminars are an excellent platforms for the senior management to inform CID specialists about the strategic and operational developments, to introduce new policies and to present plans and expectations for the near future.

Also the Deputy Attorney General for Judiciary, Sayed Jalal Jalal emphasised the importance of proper evidence-based investigations at the crime scenes and, at the same time, the importance of good knowledge of the Criminal Procedure Code. “Awareness about the recent laws and capacity building will lead to better results of the anti-crime efforts. The people must be able to trust the police and prosecutors. They have to be sure that when they fall asleep, the police are awake”, said Jalal.

CID can play an important role in building that trust and helping people to sleep peacefully at night. As Acting Head of Mission Tarmo Miilits said: “CID is a pertinent element of civilian policing. CID’s performance will increase public trust towards police and the justice system and thus make the citizens more willing to cooperate with police.”

Deputy Minister of Interior, General Abdul Rahman Rahman, stated that actually police should be a step ahead of those who are planning to commit a crime: “We have always been in a position where we react to crimes but we need to be in the vanguard and take actions to prevent crimes.”