Washington, DC - The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the International Council of Police Representative Associations (ICPRA) have 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,” said Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police. “The atrocities we are all seeing on our television screens have already demonstrated that war crimes are taking place.”
The FOP and ICPRA fully support Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan’s decision to open an investigation and 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.
The FOP and ICPRA believe every police force should invite those who have received direct evidence from those in Ukraine to report this evidence to their local police so that it can be secured. It is a sad reality that many of those direct eyewitnesses will sadly lose their lives in the defense of their county. It is therefore essential that evidence they have already secured is not lost forever.
To be clear, the FOP and ICPRA are 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 cannot, however, do this on their own. It is essential that nations take a coordinated approach to ensure that a standardized method of evidence recording is established. The FOP & ICPRA, 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.
Background on ICPRA:
ICPRA is an international network of police unions founded in 1996 and has approximately 1.5 million members affiliated through national police associations and federations. ICPRA membership includes police unions from four continents, speaking over 30 languages, connected through ICPRA. The FOP is a member of the ICPRA board.