Strengthening of Police Structures
Title: Strengthening of Police Structures in the Palestinian Territories (Phase IV)
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Palestinian Territories
Lead executing agency: Palestinian Authority (PA); Palestinian Ministry of Interior (MoI); Palestinian Civil Police (PCP)
Overall term: 2018 to 2020
The Palestinian leadership continues to seek the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. However, there have been no direct peace talks with Israel since 2014. In fact, the conflict, which has been going on for decades now, is becoming increasingly violent once more; both in Jerusalem and the West Bank. In order to stabilise the situation in the region and uphold the two-state solution supported by Germany, the Palestinian institutions must ensure that they are able to uphold peace and security in a democratic order within recognised borders, in spite of the realities of the conflict. The establishment of responsible and reliable security authorities that operate in accordance with the rule of law is extremely important in this context. Since the 2008 Berlin Conference in Support of Palestinian Civil Security and the Rule of Law, Germany has played a key role here within the group of donors.
The Palestinian police force has been operating professionally, with a community-oriented approach in accordance with the principles of the rule of law. The police force has ensured public safety and order while respecting human rights.
During the initial phase between 2010 and 2012, the programme and its Palestinian partners co-developed a standardised plan to build and equip community police stations. Upon completion, this plan was subsequently used to construct four stations in the Jenin Governorate and a mock police station for training purposes in Jericho. Since then, other donors have also used this plan as a blueprint for the construction of more police stations in the West Bank.
From 2013 to 2015, the programme focused on the efficient and sustainable organisation and use of the new police stations. In close project-partner cooperation, an organisational model was developed to ensure all the stations operated professionally. In addition, an EU co-financing arrangement facilitated the construction and outfitting of eight more local police stations in the north and south of the West Bank.
In the third phase between 2016 and 2018, the community policing approach initiated at the stations was expanded to include the establishment of mobile police stations intended to increase the police presence in remote communities, especially in areas where Palestinian security control is restricted. After a successful pilot in the Tulkarem Governorate and the procurement of special vehicles, the roll-out of the MPS concept to all districts in the West Bank began at the end of 2017. The ongoing fourth programme phase will see the community policing approach standardised at all levels of, and throughout the West Bank. The community-oriented organisational model will therefore be upscaled to the city and district police stations as well, and the police will be supported to mainstream the mobile police station concept. Conceptual and personnel skills in the area of community policing will also be strengthened at all hierarchical levels, primarily by means of training initiatives and the establishment of a leadership programme at the Police College in Jericho. A concept for leadership development was jointly developed by the Palestinian partner and Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei in Münster. In this regard, a cooperation agreement was signed in October of 2018 on providing technical support to the leadership scheme.
In order to boost public confidence in the security forces, cooperation mechanisms between local police forces and community groups will be institutionalised throughout the West Bank. Particular emphasis will be placed on the involvement of community-based organisations and measures for addressing vulnerable groups; in particular women and violent-prone youth. Moreover, the cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior and civil society organisations will be enhanced as a way of strengthening civilian oversight and accountability.
The PCP now operates more professionally and delivers more citizen-oriented services. Police officers have undergone training enabling them to adopt a more professional approach to victims of violence and crime, and to women victims in particular. Government security forces are now viewed more positively, especially with the deployment of MPS which reached and provided more services in rural areas and increased people’s trust in their police force. Furthermore, activities are underway to promote a constructive relationship between state and society.
An accountable police force that conducts itself professionally and in accordance with the rule of law and human rights will benefit the population in the medium to long term, improving their policing and security situation.