Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 August 2019:
The government of president Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, last week invoked a joint operation of both military and police officers to patrol the streets and areas that are notorious for serious crimes across the country.
This joint operation, known as the Military Aid to Civil Power (MAC-P) will be in place for six months. It was approved by the country’s National Security Council (NSC) which is headed by President Julius Maada Bio.
According to the NSC, both police and military officers will carry out night patrols and other security related activities in order to curb the rising numbers of armed robbery and violent attacks being reported across the country.
Military Aid to Civil Power (MAC-P) is normally invoked to handle extreme situations that pose threat to the peace and tranquillity of Sierra Leone, or any part thereof; and to assist the police deal with situations that greatly overwhelm their capability to respond.
The Sierra Leone Police is charged with the responsibility to protect lives and property by working with security partners and stakeholders in a collaborative and community policing manner.
A police statement issued last week, said that: “As a way to ensure that the people we police are safe in their various communities and go about doing their daily activities unhindered, there is now a security sector joint deployment of police and soldiers across the country”.
The aim they say is to conduct targeted raids, arrest hardcore criminals and prosecute; curb armed robbery activities and anti-social behaviour; provide safety and security, to enhance political and social development.
“So, this is a normal operation which is in existence since the time of policing. Names of operations do change with time, based on the prevailing circumstances in fighting crime. We are not in a state of emergency, people are free to move as one of their fundamental rights. Equally, the police have the right to screen and resolve informally by using wise discretion to admonish. So, members of the public are also expected to provide timely information for the police to fulfil its core mandate in life and property protection,” the Media and Communications unit in the North East said last week.