The report provides information about police capacity- and institution-building undertaken by the OSCE field operations in support of their respective host-State governments and describes the development of activities of the SPMU.
The concerns which, during 2003, most dominated the OSCE policing agenda for post-conflict States and States in transition, e.g. terrorism, transnational crime, the negative effect of corruption on sustainable economic growth and brutal violations of human rights, led chiefly to calls for improvements in law enforcement investigative techniques, and a shift from a force to a service culture.
The need to increase the technical performance of police forces and make them vastly more responsive to the communities they police has prompted bilateral donations of sophisticated elements of training and pieces of equipment. Because the basic systems and operating practices that enable such contributions to be effective are frequently missing, their value is minimal, or they may even be counter-productive. The scale of criminal enterprise across the globe and the increasing threat to States hitherto able to commit expertise abroad, which more and more are having to use resources to defend their own territories, is also a factor in the ad-hoc choice and delivery of selective training and equipment.
Policing in many of the participating States, within which corruption, terrorist conspiracies, major crime and human rights abuses persist is woefully under-resourced. The ingenuity and technical capabilities of career criminals far surpass the commitment or the resources of the police forces trying to stop them. The OSCE field missions' experience is that law enforcement bodies therefore require long-term, systematic and coordinated assistance programmes to be in place so that the maximum value is derived from bilateral sources as well as multilateral international organizations. Fluctuations in the past year's achievements have also shown that these programmes require to be supported by robust and unremitting political resolve if the progress so far achieved is not to be squandered.