Senior detectives discuss closer cooperation between police and prosecutors
Kabul, June 2012. The cooperation and coordination procedures between police and prosecutors in investigations was at the core of the discussions at the Senior Detective Conference organised by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, EUPOL Afghanistan and NTM-A in mid June. All the participants, among them many Chiefs of Crime Investigation Departments and six prosecutors, agreed that there is a need of closer cooperation to eventually bring criminals to justice.
This opinion is shared by one of the participants, senior detective Mohammad Jan Oriakhel: “Unfortunately police and prosecutors rarely cooperate with each other at the moment but I am aware that this cooperation must be of vital importance.” For him, most enlightening were the speeches of EUPOL’s civilian Rule of Law component who provided him with a better understanding why professionally performed investigations are essential to improve trust not only in the police but also to the justice system. “I realised in the discussions with the prosecutors that we share the same goals and that the community expects this from us,” says Mohammad.
This view was strongly re-emphasized by EUPOL’s Interim Head of Mission, Geoffrey Cooper in his key note speech: “Mutual cooperation is vital for the proper management of the justice system and in order to enable the achievement of tangible and transparent outcomes.” He also said that such a professionalization takes time, but “it is only though such transparent and professional practices that the police service can gain the trust and confidence of their communities, which is a vital step in the development of any nation.”
But not only the cooperation between police and prosecutors were addressed during the course of the conference: leadership skills, delegation of duties and responsibilities and training needs were topics discussed heavily in workshops. For the participants it was an opportunity to share their practical experiences, the challenges they face and the solutions developed to overcome such issues. “One of the most important steps in achieving professional investigation practices is for practitioners like you to share their knowledge at events such this,” said Cooper. Senior detective Mohammad Jan Oriakhel certainly used this chance: “As we share the same challenges but also the same goals we had fruitful discussions for the way ahead. This conference helped us to come up with solutions which hopefully will become reality of our daily working lives soon.”