Council Police: Decentralisation Minister Puts Order

Instructs Senior Divisional Officers to ensure the conformity of Council Police Uniforms to the regulations in force.

The 58 Senior Divisional Officers in Cameroon are certainly on the field implementing in a concrete manner measures to ensure that the uniforms council Police wear conform with the regulations in force and do not create any confusion with the National Police Force. 

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The Minister of Decentralisation and Local Development, Georges Elanga Obam in the message on April 7, 2021 addressed to the Senior Divisional Officers with the subject being uniform worn by Council Police, gives specific instructions highlighting violations that must be corrected. In the message he prohibited the systematic wearing of uniforms by these council agents with inscriptions on the back “Council Police” similar to that of the National Police Force.

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He further instructed the Senior Divisional Officers to call on municipal council executives of their jurisdictions of command to take necessary measures to henceforth provide the Council Police with uniforms of violet colour with the only inscription written on the back and in bold letters the name of the Local or City Council concerned without starting with the inscription “Council Police.”

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The Senior Divisional Officers are representatives of the State in the City, Subdivisional and Local Councils. In accordance with Section 216 (1) of Law No. 2019/024 of 24 December 2019 to Institute the General Code of Regional and Local Authorities, “Under the control of the representative of the State, the Mayor shall be responsible for the municipal police and enforcement of State instructions relating thereto.” The same law in Section 218 (1) states that, “The objective of the council police shall be to ensure public order, safety, tranquillity, security and cleanliness.” The council police shall have the duty to demolish buildings constructed without building permits, intervene to prevent unfortunate events that could be caused by stray animals, provide safe and convenient passages, inspect appliances and /or instruments used for foodstuffs sold by weight or measure and the safety of edible foodstuffs displayed for sale, among others.

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Despite the lofty missions of the council police provided for by law, there has been some noticeable confusion of roles with part stemming from the type of uniforms they wear. The Minister of Decentralisation and Local Development’s instructions are intended to instil order and make the role concept clear between the National Police Force and the council police. The mayors are at the centre of the implementation of the instructions under the strict supervision of the Senior Divisional Officers who are State representatives at the level of the councils.

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Through this focus, we want to highlight the role of the council police, the steps by public authorities to ensure that order reigns in the sector, examples of functional council police structure, the concrete implementation of the Minister’s instructions on the field and the need to clear confusion  for effectiveness to be attained.

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