The GIZ Police programme, Police Programme Africa: Joint German-EU Support to the Gambia Police Force in partnership with the German Police Support Team (GPST) on Monday, 16th May 2022 began nine (9) days of training on the Investigation of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) for 20 officers of the Gambia Police Force.
The training is currently ongoing at the Khamsys Training Centre in Bijilo and is expected to end on 27th May 2022.
In her introductory remarks, the Component Manager of the GIZ Police Programme, Dr. Marion Popp explained that the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH) is commissioned by the Federal Republic of Germany to provide technical assistance to the government of the Republic of The Gambia. GIZ supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation.
Dr. Marion Popp said the training is organized by GIZ in partnership with the German Police Support Team, adding that the two police trainers Mrs. Heike Kottmann and Mr. Michael Müller are from the Police Academy in Böblingen , a small town near Stuttgart in Germany.
She disclosed that the training is a programme taught to German police officers and police officers from other countries that are deployed to UN or EU missions.
According to her, the objective of this training is to equip the Gambia Police Force’s SGBV investigators with the knowledge and skills required to conduct effective investigations, collect and store useful evidence that can be presented in a court of law during criminal prosecutions.
Mr. Sven Stadtrecher, senior project coordinator of Baden Württemberg State Police GPST in the Gambia, recalled that since their project inception in 2018, they have completed a large number of trainings through their partnership with the Gambia Police Force. He added that the GPST has now joined forces with GIZ to deliver more valuable trainings to their partners at the Gambia Police Force.
The training, he added, is like a win-win situation as they are also learning from their Gambian friends.
“You the participants will undergo a large number of theoretical lectures and practical trainings. You will improve old skills, you will learn new skills, and in the end, you will successfully be prepared to handle any SGBV-related criminal investigation that the future may bring,” he remarked.
He stated that they have learned from experience that police response is crucial, not only to protect women and girls from violence but also to increase the trust that reported cases will be taken seriously and that survivors should be treated with dignity and respect.
The programme was officially opened by the AIG Demba Sowe, CMC of the Gambia Police Force, on behalf of the IGP. He explained the importance of the training and advised the participants to take the training seriously. He reminded them how fortunate they are to be chosen to participate in this internally recognized training.