UK supports professional development of Sri Lanka Police

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For the last three years the UK, through the Scottish Police College, has supported the development of new training programmes for the Sri Lanka Police – both for new entrants to the Police College and more senior officers at the Police Academy. Courses at the Academy cover topics such as Ethical Leadership and Organisational Management. This training will help build a more professional police force. The Scottish Police College are also training the police on crime scene investigation skills and interview techniques. The UK also funds The Asia Foundation to help the police embed community policing approaches across the island.

Below is the text of the speech made by Deputy British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Laura Davies at the launch of the ‘Professional Development Framework’ for the Sri Lanka Police. The event was hosted on 21st March at the BMICH.

“Professional development should be at the heart of what all of us do every day – both for ourselves and for our organisations. Without it, we atrophy, wither and become irrelevant. With it, individuals and organisations grow, adapt and aspire.

The Professional Development Framework we are celebrating today will help the Sri Lankan Police provide and receive modern and dynamic training. The legislation makes it possible for the National Police Academy to award diplomas and certificates. This is essential to build the “Professionalism through Wisdom” that is the Academy’s motto and also to ensure Sri Lanka has the police force it wants and deserves for the 21st Century, serving communities across Sri Lanka. It is particularly symbolic to be launching this framework on Police Heroes Day.

The British High Commission has been a long-term supporter of the development of the Sri Lankan police. We have worked with the police and the Government, supporting their vision for a transformed police service. And we have partnered with academic and civil society organisations who share the same vision and determination. Community policing and training development have been the two central themes of our engagement. We remain very active supporting Sri Lanka’s move towards community policing, a journey which started for us with the Scottish Police College and now continues with The Asia Foundation.

With the Scottish Police College, our focus over the last three years, has the development of police training both at the College and the Academy. The Scottish Police College’s expertise in police training is recognised worldwide.

This partnership has been transformative. For example:

– All recruit training at the Sri Lanka Police College has been revised and modernised. It now meets international standards and sets new recruits off to the best possible start to their careers;

– A new Leadership and Management branch has strengthened capability and capacity at senior levels within the police service;

– A new Crime and Law Enforcement Branch provides specific training in crime scene management and evidence gathering.

The Professional Development Framework is the culmination of many years of work. It has been a real team effort, possible through strong and positive relationships and sustained dedication on all sides. The strong support of the Inspector General of Police and the Deputy Inspector General in charge of training have been particularly critical, and I salute them for their vision and determination.

I’d also like to praise the work of the Scottish Police College. They have shown determination and sensitivity in equal measure to develop a training programme that meets the needs of the police service and the people of Sri Lanka. The launch of the Professional Development Framework today is both a major milestone and testament to their commitment to Sri Lanka.

A modern, effective and efficient police force, serving the community and part of the community, has a huge role to play in Sri Lanka’s transformation to a more democratic society, strengthening the rule of law and helping build stability in a country still suffering the after effects of a long and terrible conflict.

All post-conflict countries face significant challenges. Dealing with the causes and legacies of conflict will enable Sri Lanka to build the stronger, more stable and more prosperous country that all its people so richly deserve – and that the UK so sincerely wishes for it. The development of a professional, civilian police force, guarantor of law and order, and offering protection and assistance to all communities is a central element to this.

The British Government has been a steadfast partner in pursuit of this goal, and we will continue to be so.

Here at the High Commission, we will continue to support the development of the Sri Lankan police service. Today is an important milestone towards that shared objective. We look forward to continuing our close co-operation with the Honourable Minister and his team at the Ministry of Law & Order, the Inspector General of Police and civil society organisations in Sri Lanka.” (Media Release)