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Afghanistan: Police

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 15th September 2008.

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Photo of Michael Moore Michael Moore Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in establishing the Afghan national police; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

holding answer 22 July 2008

At 28 March 2008, according to figures provided by the US, total strength of the Afghan police was approximately 78,000 personnel and the force was deployed in every province in Afghanistan.

The International Policing Coordination Board (IPCB) is working to develop a vision for the Afghan police that will define its future role in both law enforcement and counter insurgency operations. The IPCB includes representatives from the Afghan Ministry of Interior, the US and the EU and other actors. The US is pursuing a police reform programme called Focused District Development which provides equipment, training and mentoring in law enforcement techniques to police officers at the tactical level. The EU, through the European Policing mission to Afghanistan, provides framing and mentoring for the Afghan police at the strategic and regional levels.

The Afghan police play a vital role in the counter insurgency campaign and regularly support the Afghan national army on operations.

While the force suffers from major problems such as low levels of literacy and corruption, its performance is improving.

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