Year in Review: Community Policing

As the financial year come to a close, we’re celebrating what’s been achieved through our community policing initiative with the Public Security Directorate (PSD) and the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate (SRAD).

We’ve focused on enhancing the accessibility, visibility and approachability of the Community Police in Mafraq and Ramtha. Both areas host large numbers of Syrian refugees and have experienced increased pressure on municipal services in recent years.

To support the Community Police’s visibility and mobility, we provided the PSD with one mobile police station and seven patrol vehicles.  The mobile police station was custom built in collaboration with KADBI, and it provides a private space which can be used for holding small meetings. It also offers disabled access. These vehicles help the police to bring their services directly to local communities in more outlying areas of Mafraq and Ramtha. The patrol vehicles and mobile police station make the Community Police more recognisable and provide means for enhanced community participation, especially for women and children who might not otherwise be able to visit police stations.

To enhance access to community police inside the police stations at the Mafraq District Headquarters, Mafraq City, Balama, R’hab, Khaldiyyah, Sal Horan and Ramtha we designed, built and equipped satellite reception buildings. Community police officers working in these buildings become the first point of contact for members of the community coming to the station. The officers listen to their concerns, handle it as required, or refer them to the relevant department. These buildings provide a space where visitors can raise their concerns and enquires in private. Women are able to talk in confidence with female community police officers stationed in these rooms. Within Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps, we carried out essential renovation on five police stations and one training hall.

The Mobile Police Station, patrol vehicles, one of the reception buildings, and two female community police officers

To enhance the Community Police’s approachability, we focused on community engagement in our training delivery. We mentored the 24 community police officers we trained last year as they hosted monthly local council meetings and delivered training to school children on a range of local social and security issues. We also provided enhanced community policing training to a further 14 officers from Ramtha, Russeifah and Mafraq, in addition to coaching and mentoring a team of five community police trainers from the SRAD.

In total, we held 10 workshops over the course of the year, involving 105 participants. Standout interventions include training 12 officers on Forum Theatre techniques, which can be used to initiate dialogue with the community on topics that are often sensitive to broach.  The Personal Safety Awareness workshops that we held for hospital staff to help them manage and deescalate conflict from abusive patients and/or their family members is also a good example of how we were able to respond in-partnership with the Community Police to an emerging issue.

Lastly, we assisted the Community Police in designing and implementing a road safety initiative, which culminated in the ‘Road Safe Roadshow’ event. The Forum Theatre team provided an interactive performance on road safety, while first responders from the Civil Defence, Mafraq Government Hospital, the PSD Traffic Department, and the mother of a road traffic accident victim gave moving speeches on the impact of road traffic collisions on peoples’ lives. Over 260 students from local schools and colleges in Mafraq attended the event.

With 99% of workshop participants reporting that they found our workshops to meet their learning needs; and 95% of participants stating that the training was relevant to their work, we hope to build on and continue delivering impactful interventions in the forthcoming year.

 

Gerry, UKPST Police Advisor, with Sgt Abdullah, one of the participants on the Enhanced Community Policing course

Gerry, UKPST Police Advisor, with Sgt Abdullah, one of the participants on the Enhanced Community Policing course