The Honorable Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone Jacob Jusu Saffa has inaugurated the National Crime Management system-West African police information system and registration center.
The West African police information system (WAPIS) is an initiative of West African countries under ECOWAS marked at building an operative, National, Regional and international response to national, regional and international criminal threats, including transnational structured crime and terrorism. The objective of WAPIS method is to boost the ability of law execution agencies of West African countries to fight these criminal threats effectively by refining on their abilities to collect, process, and analyse data and to share information amongst national security bodies and with other countries in the region and beyond through INTERPOL
The Chief Minister said that, WAPIS system is supported by a Multi-annual program (2021-2022) funded by the European Union and fulfilled by INTERPOL with the political and strategic support of ECOWAS. Fifteen ECOWAS and two non-ECOWAS countries profited from the program.
The memorandum of understanding between the government of Sierra Leone and INTERPOL for the operationalisation of WAPIS was signed 3years ago, in January 2019.
The system is used at three levels; National, Regional and global levels to improve the country’s capacity to respond to criminal threats including transnational crime and terrorism. The center will bring together all security and law enforcement bodies in the process to collect, centralise, manage and analyse data from criminal cases in the digital format.
Concluding the remarks, the Chief Minister noted that the WAPIS program is timely as it will immensely boost the efforts of regional and global security cooperation against insecurity caused by threats from the international organised criminal networks including maritime crimes, like piracy and other illicit activities deep of the coast of West Africa and more broadly the Gulf of Guinea.
In the inauguration ceremony the inspector General of Police Dr Ambrose Michael Sovula assured the gathering that the operative running of the WAPIS is high among the importance for the Sierra Leone Police and all the partners are assured of police’s commitment in this regard.
In his statement, the head of the WAPIS program, Mr Richard GOTWE, said the involvement of the political and operational system of the Government of Sierra Leone is well recognised. He thanked the gathering for honoring the invitation and stated the INTERPOL will increase the number of WAPIS workstations both in the WAPIS center and in the whole network of police stations in the country in order to use it at its maximum potential.
The head of the political session of the European Union delegation, JUAN ANTONIO FRUTOS, stressed transnational threats and challenges do not stop at borders, and therefore cannot be effectively tackled by one state alone. “ We commend the Sierra Leonean authorities and law enforcement agencies for their active support in the implementation in the WAPIS program in Sierra Leone and the creation of this DACORE center “ he pondered.
Anti Corruption Commissioner- Francis Ben Kaifala was also part of the gathering. The program ended with inspection tour my the Chief Minister and delegation.