Despite more than a decade of the on-going support of multiple bilateral agreements, hundreds of millions of dollars spent, the cooperation of several thousand foreign police officers, as well as concerted effort on the part of police administration – the PNH continues to be under-trained, under-resourced, and under-staffed. This lack of human resources was worsened by the grave loss of life within the PNH itself on January 12th. It is been estimated that it will take several years to recruit, properly train and install new officers to replace those who were killed during the earthquake. However that effective, was still dramatically insufficient for Haiti’s current population. Strained relations between the police, who lack basic tools and techniques of the trade, and a population who en-masse, lack knowledge of their rights, and are fearful or severely mistrust the police contribute significantly to misunderstandings, and the frequency of unnecessarily violent incidents during arrest, detainment and investigation. It must be clearly understood that the loss of materials, vehicle, weapons, security equipment, radios, etc suffered during the earthquake has dramatically reduced the effectiveness of the police in general. Scarce resources are now even more scarce, and divided amongst a reduced effective, over a larger terrain. These challenges, combined with the continually escalating levels of socio-political violence, corruption and impunity have widened the gap between police practices in reality, and prescribed policies and procedures, as well as the institutions ability to investigate and sanction those responsible for human rights violations in the exercise of their work.
RNDDH calls upon the government, and all stakeholders to:
- Increase the total number of police stations in relation to the collective territories, and the required effective in comparison to population.
- Improve the working conditions, and resources of police officers – providing modern and appropriate tools and technology.
- Provide ongoing training, and career planning for all members of public forces
- Reinforce the working of General Inspection, to better conduct transparent internal investigations and ensure that officers are brought to justice when involved in wrong-doing.