Model Police Stations help improve community policing

26 Aug 2014

imageModel Police Stations will serve communities in rural and coastal areas of Puntland.

As part of ongoing support to security and justice institutions across Somalia, UNDP is helping local communities roll out an innovative programme to establish ‘Model Police Stations’ in rural and coastal areas of Puntland. Model Police Stations focus on strengthening effective community participation and ongoing security sector reforms in the country. They will help provide oversight and guidance to enhance security sector governance at the local level.

Funded through support from Denmark, the Model Police Station concept is a strategic response to increased policing needs in local communities. They are designed to be responsive to community needs and foster partnership arrangements with local communities, local authorities and the police.

In a recent ceremony attended by Puntland’s Vice President Mr Abdihakim Amay and UNDP Somali Deputy Country Director David Akopyan, the Garowe Model Police Station was handed over to local partners. UNDP rehabilitated and equipped the station to improve its services and build partnership with local communities. The Garowe Model Police Station will provide a framework for the development of Model Police Stations in other areas of Puntland.

The Model Police Station in Garowe will be used to introduce key roles, functions, and procedures needed to create an accountable and transparent rights-oriented community based police service. The stations are designed to be easy to access for the community, and foster community engagement and specialist support for women, youth and vulnerable groups. In addition to the traditional police functions, the Model Police Stations are designed and adequately equipped to prioritise special attention to critical issues including Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

The Model Police Stations will deploy newly trained officers, ensuring the inclusion of female police officers. There is a dedicated desk for female lawyers in Puntland, who advocate for victims of crimes, particularly SGBV. In addition, detention facilities have separate cells for men, women, and special provisions for youth. These changes are in line with human rights standards for police stations ensuring that detainees are treated with respect and dignity.

The training curriculum being developed for the Model Police Stations in Somalia is contextually and culturally appropriate and sensitive, and follows the overarching principles of democratic policing and international policing standards. It will improve the capacity of the police force to effective protect, prevent and respond to the security needs of local communities.

UNDP’s Civilian Police Project works with regional law enforcement personnel to ensure that they are well equipped to protect local communities, especially in violent and insecure areas. Working

closely with law enforcement authorities, UNDP is ensuring critical support through training and governance mechanisms - which will ensure the loyalty, commitment, morale, performance and retention of skilled police officers and security forces at this critical juncture in Somalia.

UNDP recognises the importance of the establishment of a well trained and equipped police force fully engaged with local communities in the protection of civilians and promotion of local peace. Concurrent to the police initiatives, UNDP also supports initiatives aimed at empowerment of local communities to facilitate their effective engagement and support for local security enhancement and democratic policing.