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Good Practices in Building Police-Public Partnerships by the Senior Police Adviser to the OSCE Secretary General


The aim of “Good Practices in Building Police-Public Partnerships” is draw together the common basic principles and characteristics of current concepts of community policing applied in the OSCE area and to reflect basic questions of what community policing is and what it is not. This book builds on the “Guidebook on Democratic Policing” and further illustrates the aspects of community policing, touched on in it. This is the Volume 4 in the OSCE Publication Series.


In the OSCE area, community policing has emerged as the major strategic complement to traditional policing practices. With its focus on establishing police-public partnerships, where the entire police organization, all government agencies and the communities actively co-operate in problem-solving, community policing presents a change in practice, but not in the general objectives of policing. These objectives continue to be: the maintenance of public tranquility, law and order; the protection of the individual’s fundamental rights and freedoms – particularly life; the prevention and detection of crime; and the provision of assistance and services to the public to reduce fear, physical and social disorder, and neighbourhood decay. Police-public partnerships do, however, provide a strategy to achieve these objectives more effectively and efficiently.

The central premise of community policing is that the level of community participation in enhancing safety and social order and in solving community-related crime should be raised since the police cannot carry out this task on their own. In order to achieve such partnerships, the police must be better integrated into the community and strengthen their legitimacy through policing by consent and improving their services to the public. They should therefore:

  • be visible and accessible to the public;
  • know, and be known by, the public;
  • respond to the communities’ needs;
  • listen to the communities’ concerns;
  • engage and mobilize the communities;
  • be accountable for their activities and the outcome of these activities.