The International Council of Police Representative Associations (ICPRA) has issued a rallying call for every police force in the world to assist with the documenting of evidence to assist with the prosecution of war crimes being committed in Ukraine.
War crimes investigations are inherently complex and lengthy. The atrocities we are all seeing on our screens have already demonstrated that war crimes are taking place. ICPRA fully supports the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan’s decision to open an investigation. We believe it is the duty of every police force to assist that investigation and ensure all relevant evidence is secured to aid a prosecution. In any investigation the sooner the evidence is gathered, documented, and preserved, the quicker a prosecution is able to be instigated, and the likelihood of a conviction is increased.
The people of Ukraine have extended family, friends, and colleagues all over the world. They have established communities within our nations and provide a vital link with the Ukrainian people currently living in Ukraine.
The people in Ukraine are capturing direct evidence of the atrocities that are unfolding before their very eyes. They are sharing this first-hand evidence with their families, friends, and colleagues outside of the country. This evidence is verifiable and able to be time and date stamped, and geo-located. This type of evidence will be invaluable in any subsequent prosecution.
ICPRA believes every police force should invite those who have received direct evidence from those in Ukraine to report this evidence to their local police in order that it can be secured. It is a sad reality that many of those direct eye witnesses will sadly lose their lives in the defence of their county. It is therefore essential that evidence they have already secured is not lost forever.
To be clear, ICPRA is NOT looking for well meaning, and concerned citizens to inundate their police forces with details of images and footage they have seen on social media. This would overwhelm police forces and hinder, not help any evidence gathering.
Police forces can not however do this on their own. It is essential that nations take a coordinated approach to ensure that a standardised method of evidence recording is established. We therefore call on Governments to work together to achieve this and provide all necessary resources to forces to accommodate this
international effort to bring war criminals to justice.