Baghdad, 2 June 2019 – On 28 May 2019 senior officials of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, together with representatives of The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Embassy, convened to inaugurate the recently adopted Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Criminal Investigations. The event also served as kick-off for its implementation phase to have those procedures properly applied by police investigators throughout the country.
The inauguration event was chaired by Major General Ziad Al-Abbasi, head of the Training and Qualification Directorate. He presented the new booklet containing the SOP and stated that it will be used in all training facilities of the ministry on the conduct of criminal investigations and highlighted the importance of its successful implementation: “It is crucial that all future police investigators are made familiar with the SOP to make crime investigation more reliable and efficient” said Major General Ziad.
“The new internal police regulations for criminal investigations constitute an essential pre-condition for Iraqi police transition from a ‘force’ to a 'service-oriented' public security provider in the post-Da’esh context”, said Chamila Hemmathagama, head of the security sector reform programme of UNDP Iraq.
The deputy head of the German Embassy, Jochen Möller, stated that the Embassy is delighted to hear that the Iraqi expert group that travelled to Berlin was able to get valuable insights and ideas for drafting the Iraqi SOP from how German police and prosecutors investigate crimes. “The Embassy is pleased to be able to assist in this important work and wished the Ministry of the Interior all success for the implementation phase”, added Mr Möller.
Andreas Kirsch-Wood, senior criminal justice advisor of UNDP, outlined the content of the SOP and stressed that “the new procedures recognise the role of police investigators as proactive stakeholders who carry out all the initial investigations in a manner by which they can be held accountable by investigating judges”.
In support of the implementation of the SOP by the Interior Ministry, UNDP will convene provincial level orientation workshops with police investigators and investigating judges.
UNDP will further hold courses for police trainers to enable them to teach police investigators on the new requirements of the SOP. UNDP will also help to appraise the functions of the police stations under the new procedures to support their upgrade so that they are able to put the SOP into effect.
Major General Ziad and Chamila Hemmathagama both commended the continuous commitment and generous funding from the Government of Germany for this important work.