The Bauchi state Police Commissioner (CP) Tanko Jimeta has tasked Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the state to be diligent in investigating cases of Sexual Gender- Based Violence (SGBV) for successful prosecution of perpetrators.
Jimeta made the call in Bauchi on Wednesday at the closing ceremony of a two-day capacity building training for DPOs, Gender Desk Officers and staff of the Ministry of Justice.
Reports say, the capacity building training was organized by ‘Attah Sisters Helping Hand’ (ASHH) Foundation supported by Canada Global Affairs and ActionAi
In his speech, the CP said, as police officers, they had the responsibility of investigating a crime, establishing the culpable party as well as providing evidence necessary to prove guilt.
“When you receive information about a possible sexual or domestic assault, you will often speak with the victim, witnesses, and acquaintances before questioning the accused,” he said.
Jimeta said the Police used a variety of techniques to investigate sexual assault and related thcrimes, hence, many people accused of sexual assault were shocked by police conduct during their investigations
He explained that in sexual assault investigations, evidence and information about the crime was gathered primarily from the victim, suspect and the crime scene, including other witnesses.
“Officers should thoroughly investigate all three sources, and any other available source of evidence or information. However, cases can be successfully prosecuted even if the investigation reveals that evidence is not available from all three sources
“In responding to sexual assault complaints, every effort must be made to relieve the victim’s possible feelings of shame and or self-blame,” the commissioner said.
Jimeta further said that investigation would enable victims to provide the clearest and most complete information about the crime, adding that efforts must be made to ensure that all victims were treated professionally and with dignity.
He called on religious and community leaders to report rape cases to the police for prosecution, stressing, “We have the collective duty to protect the young ones and the minors that become victims of rape in the society’’
According to him, “sexual assault is a crime that may be terrifying, humiliating and life-threatening, regardless of who the victim is”.