Shaping citizen-oriented policing
Title: Community Policing in Afghanistan (CPA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Overall term: 2018 to 2020
The development of a well-structured and organised Afghan National Police (ANP) is one of the priority areas of German engagement in Afghanistan and poses many challenges. In addition to the tense security situation and operational deficits, the lack of public confidence and inadequate cooperation between citizens and the police particularly impede effective policing based on the rule of law. Social skills such as proficient communication, the ability to work in a team and conflict management are hardly taken into account, which hinders the ANP’s development into a professional police force.
Public confidence in the police has increased. The police force is able to resolve internal difficulties and conflicts more professionally.
It is now a clearly established belief worldwide that the police force – with its centralised, bureaucratic and primarily enforcement-oriented structures – must increasingly strive to involve the local communities in its work.
The Community Policing (CP) approach is now of key importance to the ANP. This concept particularly focuses on establishing close contact between the police and communities. To make this possible, the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA) has established the necessary structures in all 34 of the country’s provinces. This is where GIZ’s support comes into play.
In order to increase the confidence of the Afghan people in the police force, GIZ helps organise and implement dialogue forums so that local people can discuss their security concerns directly with the police. Training measures inform about the CP approach and raise awareness among police officers about the importance of social skills, which can contribute to better management of internal challenges and conflicts. Depending on the thematic focus, training is offered to those in management positions, teaching staff, police officers specialised in community policing, and patrol officers.
Following an initial focus on the northern provinces, support is being extended to other parts of the country. Alongside the Afghan authorities, the project works closely with the German Police Project Team (GPPT) in Afghanistan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
- During the first half of 2018, more than 160 dialogue forums took place thanks to support from the project. The forums enabled a lively exchange between the police and local people.
- As a result of regular training, police officers are now familiar with the CP approach and the associated duties and behaviour.
- Information events have been supported in schools so that students can gain an understanding of the police and their role in society. Emphasis is also placed on the transfer of practical knowledge by the police, such as proper conduct in emergency situations.