The police and the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) will form a joint task team to train civilians on police tasks in a bid to curb criminal offences and reduce mob violence.
The two parties reached an agreement on the matter yesterday when a team from the LHRC met with top officials from the police force in Dar es Salaam.
The police team included Inspector General of Police Said Mwema, Director of Public Prosecution Robert Manumba, Chief of Criminal and Intelligence Hussein Nassoro Laisseri and head of Community Policing Basilio Matei.
According to the agreement, LHRC will conduct human rights training to police officers to curb brutality and extrajudicial killings, among other things.
Commenting on the merger, legal officer in charge of the Human Rights Monitoring Unit Advocate Laetitia Petro mentioned other areas of cooperation as a modality that would see LHRC report directly to the Police Complaints Unit on law and human rights violations through its monitors at district level.
“We will have a focal person (police officer) who will then be reporting to the police headquarters (Complaints Unit), which will give some feedback after every three months,” said Petro.
For his part, IGP Said Mwema Said his force welcomed the idea as it would go concurrently with their reforms meant to develop and institutionalise systems for crime prevention and building capacity of the police's oversight.
According to the IGP, the police force’s priorities include addressing gender inequality, corruption and rehabilitating existing infrastructure and developing the new ones.
“Our reforms involve building capacity of the community to reinforce community policing awareness campaigns and of the police to work with the community. These issues go concurrently with the LHRC’s mission,” said the IGP.
For his part, DCI Manumba called for a need to ensure the programme was sustainable to enable the two parties conduct checks and balances, which would involve the Integrity Division to monitor the whole process.
The meeting between the two parties was a follow-up on a similar session that took place last year.
Among the issues of interest will be information sharing on fact finding missions, which began yesterday when the LHRC submitted its reports from similar fact finding missions in Urambo, Tabora and Njedengwa in Dodoma.
The LHRC will soon submit its report on extrajudicial killings in Songea and Ulanga districts.