20 Mar 2007

PR# 2007-212

Afghan traffic police receive new vehicles

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan - Traffic police in Helmand Province have been given a boost of new vehicles from the Lashkar Gah Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).  A new Toyota 4x4 traffic police van, a new ambulance and four motorbikes as well as traffic accident signs, traffic cones and fire extinguishers were presented to the traffic police.

The Deputy Governor of Helmand, Haji Pir Mohammed, received the new equipment, which cost a total of $20,000, at a ceremony this week.

Members of the new Lashkar Gah Traffic Emergency Response Unit were also awarded certificates on completion of a six-week First Aid course supplied by the UK-led PRT.

David Slinn, Head of the PRT in Lashkar Gah, said: “This is evidence of the PRT commitment to the police reform program through the provision of essential transport and equipment for the traffic police department.”

Mr Mohammed said: “We are really grateful for the vehicles and motorbikes to help with the Lashkar Gah Traffic Police. The PRT has also provided important training which is crucial for the development of the police.”

The PRT currently provides extensive training and mentoring for the Helmand police service and it was during this training, provided by a team of UK police mentors, that the need for a specialist traffic unit was highlighted.  Mr Slinn said: “In view of the high level of fatal and serious injury road traffic accidents it was considered appropriate to further develop traffic police capability and effectiveness.

“After consultation with the local head of traffic department, the UK police mentors identified a real need to develop a dedicated traffic emergency response unit properly resourced and trained in order to deliver a better quality of service to the public, Mr Sinn said.

“Training was also considered an integral part of the police development program. The traffic police are often the first people in line in an emergency when people’s lives are at risk, so we are delighted to have presented a number of traffic police personnel who have successfully completed a six-week First Aid course delivered by our UK military colleagues.

“We in the PRT have a great desire that the Afghan National Police becomes both recognised and accepted as a truly dedicated public service and to that end, we commit our full cooperation and support for the police reform program.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/