Ethiopia to acquire know-how for crime investigation: Ayele Mulugeta

The Academic Vice President of Ethiopian Police University College, Mr Ayele Mulugeta, during Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology’s workshop at AMU, in an exclusive interview has revealed the state-of-affairs with regard to security and technical know-how at national-level; following is the full text.

On crime investigation, he said, ‘‘It can be categorized into tactical and technical types, forensic science comes with the latter, in this regard, we have gaps in Ethiopia, because of two reasons, first, we lack technology itself and there is dearth of knowledge and skills as well.’’

Adding further, he said, at Federal Police, Forensic Investigation Directorate looks into forensic investigation aspect. We have some modern equipment, that can’t be used due to lack of skills for which the commission is looking for training opportunities abroad as we lack such capacity in the local universities so far. Therefore, this collaboration assumes great importance for both Federal and Regional police to develop skill and acquire knowledge in the area of Forensic Science.

Spilling beans on internal security budget, he said, though, the annual budget of the commission is on the rise every year with national economy getting robust, but given the huge demand in terms of well-trained police personnel and modern technology, it might look bit paltry. However, government is making rigorous efforts to bridge the gaps by modernizing the system.

Further, he adds the size of police force will also increase for two reasons; first, Ethiopia is the second largely populated country in Africa that makes it imperative to have the standard police-population ratio. Secondly, with the implementation of Growth and Transformation Plans, the nation is investing on several big-ticket developmental projects, which are under the aegis of Federal Police; therefore, optimum size will ensure that culprits won’t go scot-free, innocent gets justice and citizen are well protected.

Explaining about training infrastructure, he said, under the University College, we have Crime Investigation and Forensic Science Institute, Police Staff College and Police Health Professionals Training Institute dedicated for training and education in the areas of police science and health science. The current intake capacity of Ethiopian Police University College is around 1500; projects are underway to expand the intake capacity to 4000.

Likewise, Oromia, Amhara and South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regions have their own Police Training Colleges while Tigray, Benishangul Gumuz, Somalia Regions and Addis Ababa City Administration will have the same in near future. Otherwise, there are 11 Police colleges-or-training centers in the country which belong to the regional states and two city administrations.

Though, Ethiopian Police University College is accountable to Federal Police Commission, it has a mandate of building the capacity of police force in the nation, both at federal and regional level until the latter takes over some of the undergraduate programs, he stressed.

On policing structure, he said, at Federal level, police is led by Commissioner General along with four Deputy Commissioner Generals who spearhead crime prevention, investigation, administration and institutional development sectors and the Police University College (where the president of the University College is Deputy Commissioner General).

Disclosing gap between conviction and justice, he said, it depends upon the complexity of crime, if, the crime is investigated in terms of finger prints, we have good infrastructure, but when it comes to DNA test, we have to send samples to aboard because we do not have the equipment as well as adequate trained personnel. Otherwise, the Commission is playing its role very well in the justice system, and gaps have to be filled with domestic efforts and opportunities abroad.

On lack of know-how, he said, in such scenario, probe rely mostly on tactical aspect and especially when the case is complicated one, it misses scientifically proved evidences; some complicated criminal cases can’t be probed by tactical system alone as it will have cascading effects all around and will affect the justice system adversely, he summed up.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)