What is community policing? What are forms of interaction between police and community? How effective are they and how to implement them? These and other questions were included into the agenda of the training "Community policing: partnership between police and community", held on April 18 in Bila Tserkva office of the Legal Development Network.
The training was attended by representatives of the Bila Tserkva Police Department, students of the faculty of Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University, Deputy Chief of prevention of Bila Tserkva Police Department Serhii Rudiuk and lawyer of Legal Unity Inna Malyshko. The trainer Olena Kovaliova, candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor of the Odesa State Academy of Internal Affairs held the training.
Among the objectives of the training were the following:
- To form an idea about the nature of the concept of partnership between police and community and to perform its basic principles and objectives;
- To find out possible forms of community policing and discuss their potential effectiveness;
- To form a belief in the feasibility of implementing the concept of community policing;
- To create the algorithm of implementation of the community policing platform on the ground.
The objective of community policing is to build a safe environment in the community
During the training, each participant shared his or her first experience with the police. The impression of the actions of police officers were both positive and negative. Therefore, participants agreed that the attitude of citizens towards the police depends on the first meeting with a police officer.
Working in groups, the participants defined the main objective of community policing – building a safe environment in the community.
According to the Office lawyer Maryna Lysych, one of the benefits of partnership for the police is the prevention of offenses. Community is an additional source of information on violations for them. The benefits of partnerships for people is the rapid response of law enforcement officers on problems, reducing crime, increasing legal awareness, etc.
The residents of UK have their own Commissioner
Olena Kovaliova shared the international experience of partnership between police and community. In the United Kingdom instead the territorial police departments the Commissioner for police and crime was introduced. Commissioners are chosen by residents. A Commission for police and crime posed by the local authority is watching over the activities of law enforcement officers. There are also partnerships of the community that interact with the Commissioner. They include local councils, medical institutions, fire services, probation services and the police.
On the forms of interaction
The trainer spoke about the following forms of cooperation between the police and community:
Advisory groups of citizens – include representatives of the local community, members of the local business community, government officials (teachers, doctors, etc.), representatives of religious organizations.
These groups help the police identify the problems of society, which can provoke crime or antisocial behavior, and assist with a plan of action to resolve them.
A school police officer can deal with 2-5 schools. He or she works in partnership with students, teachers, administration, school management, parents, other police agencies and community to create and maintain a healthy and safe school community.
An office of community safety – the area where the police, communities and local authorities can meet and discuss topical issues, security issues, develop projects to prevent offences. However, this place can be neither the police department nor the premises of the city council, says the lawyer.
The Island activity - was performed by participants, demonstrated the real state of interaction between the police and community. It turned out that the communication between the police and community is missing. There is work to do to find a common language.
Participants agreed that the concept of community policing should be implemented on the ground, and the first priority is to accommodate the activities of the local police law enforcement under the interests of the community in Bila Tserkva.
The event is organized by the Legal Unity in the framework of the project "Police and community" with the support of International Renaissance Foundation. The project is carried out within Program Initiative "Human Rights and Justice" of International Renaissance Foundation.
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