§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What steps they are taking to train the Iraqi police in the United Kingdom zone in crowd control and the minimum use of force, especially as regards firearms.[HL2830]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean:
Extensive training and equipping is taking place to ensure the Iraqi Police Service (IPS) is able to deal effectively with public disorder in the region under UK area of responsibility. Specifically:
- 4,519 Iraqi police have attended the transitional integration programme (TIP) which includes civil defence training.
- 60 specially selected IPS trainers have been trained by a senior Police Service of Northern Ireland officer in public order tactics. Tactics taught include containment, dispersal, tactics against firearms, blast bombs and petrol bombs.
- The course also taught peaceful crowd control.
- 300 members of the Basra tactical support unit have now been trained by the Iraqi trainers, validated by the UK police officers.
- Baton guns are on order to provide a non-lethal method of crowd control. These tactics will be taught to enable the IPS to avoid indiscriminate use of firearms as a method of crowd control.
- 1,000 sets of riot control clothing and equipment will shortly be issued to the IPS.
Minimum use of Force
The norm of minimum use of force has run through all training being delivered in the region. Specifically:
- Prior to January 2004 UK military provided training in arrest and search techniques based on minimum force.
- Since then 4,519 Iraqi police have attended the transitional integration programme course—the use of force is covered during the course as well as other human rights training.
Extensive firearms training, and weapons handling has been taught by the UK military and police. Specifically:
- Prior to January 2004 military training was provided for firearms and weapons handling.
- Since January 2004 4,519 Iraqi police have attended the transitional integration programme which incorporates 40 hours of firearms training carried out by the UK civilian police. More recently the Czech military have continued to provide firearms training independent of TIP.
Coalition forces have also coached, mentored and more recently shadowed IPS at public disorder incidents, firearms incidents and arrests to continue to ensure minimum use of force is a norm of IPS operations.
On the basic recruit course in Jordan and Baghdad delivered over an eight-week period, the training incorporates the following:
- 40 hours' hands-on firearms training including live fire and classroom work.
- Eight hours' civil disorder training.
- 40 hours' use of force training.
In addition, training for the national Civil Intervention Force is about to start in Baghdad and Egypt.
Specific needs regarding public order training are currently being assessed in order to tailor a five-week UK-based training package due to start in summer 2004. This will build on the basic training delivered to date.