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The Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Combating Crime in Sierra Leone

Introduction

I.C.Ts is very important in the world in general and developing countries to be specific. I.C.Ts have created significant impact in many areas when it comes to national development. When we take a look at the economy of the country, education, religion, Social Science and Technology we can see that I.C.Ts have contributed a lot in improving these areas. You might tend to wonder how but as you read along you will understand and see the importance of I.C.Ts in developing countries (Johnson, 2008).

I.C.Ts refer to technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications. It is similar to information technology (I.T), but focuses primarily on communication technologies. This includes the internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums (Marke, 2003).

I.C.Ts are concerned mainly with information management that is, acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics based communication of computer and telecommunication as its main fields (Julliet, 2001).

The Role of ICTs in Organisations

If any organization like the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Sierra Leone is to grow and develop then there must be effective and efficient communication in the organisation. Information whether it is pictorial, textual, written or vocal form through which an information is communication from top to bottom or the reviser for the effective running of the organization the use of I. C. T. is very important because it makes it very easy through the use of cell phone, computers and other devices that we use to communicate information is due to the fact that we have what we call I. C. Ts. (Johnson 2008).

• Through I. C.Ts. technology user can have easy access to information through an e-mail through by this it save the time of the staff just through by visiting his/her e-mail address he/she will know about the latest development in Criminal Investigation Department, without going to his/her or boss for information;

• I. C. Ts. have played very vital role in social media activities and the use of internet over the years and it is still making positive impact in our society today. Without I.C.Ts;

• I.C.Ts. have made it possible for a person in one country to order goods from another country, electronically from a second and pay for it electronically in a third.
I. C.Ts. Have changed the world industrial revolution forms from the mine tenth century and this change is permanent, because it creates new economic activities, new relations of production, new political forces, new job, and new outlook of life;
• I.C.Ts. have plays great role in the health sector of Criminal Investigation

Department by improving on healthcare awareness delivery and public awareness on important health issue. Through I. C. Ts. one can will be able to have access to medical information and trained specialists can reduce suffering and saves lives (Peter, 2005).

Historical background of the (C. I.D) in Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Police Force is the brainchild of the British government. Its inception dates as far back as to 1808 when Freetown was declared a British Crown Colony. In the absence of a formal organized body to keep the peace, some retired British Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates were appointed by Magistrates to come to Sierra Leone to maintain law and order. Between 1863-1888 the then Police Force had metamorphosed in order to address the ugly incidents, which were rearing their heads especially during the 1881 Koya and 1888 Sherbro disturbances. These disturbances led to the development of police along the frontier. In 1889, therefore, the police was divided- military and frontier duties were taken over by the Frontier Police white Civilian duties were left with the Frontier Police subsequently became known as the Court Messenger Force, and were made responsible for the colony.

On the 27th October 1894, in the Royal Gazette of that date, the civil police in the colony were given the designation “The Sierra Leone Police Force” – (S. L.P.F) which has remained unchanged to this day. Captain V.F. Laphan was seconded from the Army to control the police force, with the rank of superintendent and Mr. Brooks, a metropolitan police officer, was appointed inspector of police. In 1909 superintendent Brooks was appointed the first commissioner of police.

No real significant strides took place in the force, until, Mr. C. H. Ward, (O.B.E.) Superintendent of Police from Nigerian, took over command of the force as Commissioner of Police form Captain P. T. Brodie, in 1943. The strength of the force was 300, including two (2) expatriates, the Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner and Africans filled the rest the other ranks. The serious civil disturbances led to the quick introduction of the Riot Squad which was subsequently trained to contain further riots. Mr. Ward raised the strength to 600 and this created a welcome and overdue increase in promotion chances. For the first time Africans were promoted to the rank of Assistant superintendent of Police (A. S. P) and a fleet of vehicles comprising cars, lorries, motor cycle and bicycles was later obtained.

He started the proper training school at Port Loko in 1944, which was later transferred to the naval camp at hasting where it stands to this day. He also started local communications between police departments and eventually replace this by a police wireless communication system which today cover the whole country. Mr. Ward was succeeded by J. P. I. Forde who raised the strength to 1,000, sent the first African sub-inspector to train a Henden which continued thenceforth. He introduced the first proper FORCE STANDING ORDERS (F. S. O.) the police FEDERATION and POLICE COUNICIL. In 1952 Mr. W. G. Syer took over and wasted no time in taking policing to the provinces which resulted in its expansion. He affiliated the police force to International Police Organization (INTERPOL) and disbanded the Riot Squad, there by introducing a system in which every police officer was taught not duties no matter what section of the force he may be attached to.

Between 1963-1969 Mr. L. W. Leigh became the first Sierra Leonean Commissioner of Police and under his leadership a police Act was established in 1964 which was meant to consolidate and amend the laws relating to the Sierra Leone police force that is, the protection of life and property, the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension of offenders between 1969-1972, Mr. Jenkins M.E.G Smith became the second Sierra Leone commissioner of police who led the force through Republic in 1971.

The uniform at this time consisted of grey shorts and grey jacket with black shoes and cummerbund. Section 174 of the Sierra Leone Constitution of 1978 changed the traditional role of the force by the appointment of the ten Commissioners of Police, Mr. P. C. Kaetu Smith [1973- 1979] as one of the seven (7) appointed members of parliament by the Executive president, thus politicizing the role of the police force.

Between 1981- 1984, Honorable C Kaetu Smith was succeeded by Hon. J. A. Grant. In 1986, Hon. P. M. Johnson becomes the first inspector – General of police. On the 1st of January, 1987, the force was re- divisionalized into police divisions each division being represented by letters, ranging from “A” to “N” and each division commanded by a chief police officer [C. P. O]. These were further sub-divided into police Districts and placed under the command of the officer commanding districts [o/c] who may be a Deputy Superintendent of police or Assistant Superintendent of Police (A.S.P.).

In 1987 Hon. James Bambay Kamara succeeded by Mr. P.M. Johnson. In December, 1991, in a bid to redeem the good image of the Sierra Leone Police Force which had seriously dented by politics, the British Government sent Mr. Keith Lewis, a retired British Superintendent of Police to restructure the force. A series of police courses were then introduced into the curriculum in order to enhance the force in policing a modern democratic society training courses like the Junior and Senior Management Courses Trainers course, criminal investigation Department course known as the Yorkshire Course was introduced which went a long way to restructure the police.

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