For the second year Human Rights and Justice Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation supports the implementation of projects aimed at reforming the police. And not only for structural and organizational changes, and - most importantly - the transformation of their philosophy. In particular, the introduction of the police work’s new principles is focused on the needs of local communities (community policing).
For the second year Human Rights and Justice Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation supports the implementation of projects aimed at reforming the police. And not only for structural and organizational changes, and – most importantly – the transformation of their philosophy. In particular, the introduction of the police work’s new principles is focused on the needs of local communities (community policing).
“In 2015, the International Renaissance Foundation supported the organized civil society representatives in 10 different municipalities to identify the needs of residents in matters of safety and security.” Human Rights and Justice Program Initiative Director at the IRF Roman Romanov says. “First findings: safety in local communities is a joint responsibility of the police, authorities and community, requiring effective cooperation.”
A successful example of such cooperation is the activists of the NGO “Kyiv Dream” together with police fight against unscrupulous parking using the original cards. “Next time I’ll park by the rules” – thousands of leaflets with slogans still adorn the frontal window of cars that the owners left in the wrong places. The idea of organized flash mobs that have already gone beyond the planned campaign, found many supporters and made the capital city of Kyiv close to a dream.
And in Vinnytsya, thecommunity policing idea helps to overcome barriers. The city is home to nearly a thousand people who can’t hear. Then Patrol Police has a high chance to meet them at their work. Sign language courses, organized for police by the activists of NGO “Sprout”, help to interact. 20 patrol officers among 246 from Vinnytsya have already passed them.
In regional Bar, police, local authorities and community activists decided to patrol the streets together by starting up municipal guards. It helped for a short time to clear the city center of spontaneous trade and chaotic parking, to reduce the minor offenses statistic and to give police time for solving crimes.
In Kovel, “Network of Legal Development” public union carried out a survey among the townspeople that showed the problem of homeless animals is one of the main so the City Council approved the homeless animals Program for three years. Resources were found in the budget, and by the end of the year Kovel is planning to complete the overhaul of the premises where the animals will be provided with assistance, to buy needed medicines, vaccines and to find the staff.
In Lviv region, members of the public, the police and local authorities decided to reorganize the work of police departments, including creating a rapid response patrol. The experiment successfully launched in Sambir (since, the number of calls to the police increased by 87%), was extended to the entire region. Also in Sambir district, a survey of local residents on security issues was held, according to which concepts of security and measures required to implement them were approved.
These five stories are impressive, but only a few examples from a series of successful interaction between community, police and local authorities. Taking into account the effectiveness of initiatives, this summer the Foundation announced a new contest – “Safe community: a common interest, a shared responsibility.” 15 applications were chosen out of 140. Today, the community policing idea is carrying out particularly in the Dnipro, Zaporizhzhya, Kryvyi Rih, Severodonetsk, Tatarbunary, Chernivtsy and in other cities.
“We are focused on work in the community,” Vasylyna Yavorska, Human Rights and Justice Program Initiative Manager at the IRF, points out the priorities. “For us it is important to develop institutional and legal capacity of partners, so we are teaching them. In particular, how to identify safety problems in communities to build partnerships between the community, local authorities and the police, how to find effective forms of cooperation between them for the common safe space.”
Interaction between the police and the community (community policing)
Experience from previous successful projects was the basis for the 5 cases that are “materiel” not only for the Foundation’s new partners, but also for a wide range of stakeholders.