The UK has funded the building and equipment of the Command, Control and Coordination Centre (C3C) of the National Congolese Police (PNC) in Kinshasa through the ‘Security Sector Accountability and Police Reform’ (SSAPR) programme. The programme has also supported the training of the 64 staff that will run the Centre and the provincial pilot project to implement the C3C in Matadi, Kananga and Bukavu. C3C is the result of a fruitful partnership and co-financing with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The mission of the C3C, launched on 1 October 2014, is to allow a permanent, appropriate, coordinated and controlled response from the Police. This will allow them to better meet the Congolese population’s security needs. Over the long-term, the C3C will perform three functions:
- operate the toll-free ‘112’ emergency number call centre, which will initially serve one of Kinshasa’s 24 communes (Lingwala) and will then progressively be expanded to all the communes in Kinshasa;
- act as the command, control and coordination centre for crisis response for Kinshasa, deploying police officers (and other emergency services) where needed in the city;
- serve as the national command, control and coordination centre for the PNC, capable of issuing instructions and receiving information from DR Congo’s Provincial police headquarters (3 of which are also supported by SSAPR).
In his speech, Christopher Pycroft, Head of the Department for International Development in the DRC, said:
We support the PNC because we know that security is a fundamental element of the fight against poverty. It is the mission of public authorities, a key to economic and social development and an essential condition of human rights protection. Security is particularly important for vulnerable groups, including women and children.
The C3C is a new mechanism that aims to protect Congolese citizen and meets international standards. It is essential that the Police use these new resources in a responsible way and in the interest of the communities they have to protect. Success is possible only if the Police demonstrate a rigorous management of budgets, equipment and resources at its disposal.
We have supported the Congolese government for the implementation of the C3C, it is now your turn to address the challenges that will allow the C3C to keep being a modern and effective tool. It is reassuring to see today that the country’s highest authorities have attended this event. We hope that this enthusiasm will be followed by a long term financial support from the Congolese government.
Congolese citizens now have a powerful tool. We know they will make it their own and use it to reinforce the relationship of trust they are building with the National Police.
Recognising these challenges, the UK government through the SSAPR programme, is supporting the PNC so that they work for the benefit of the population and provide security and improved rule of law. Based on the community policing policy promoted by SSAPR, the C3C will improve the police’s accountability to state authorities and to the Congolese, the end beneficiaries of this process.