The Annual Report of the Secretary General on Police-Related Activities provides an overview of all police-related programmes and projects implemented in 2018
by the OSCE executive structures, including the thematic units of the Secretariat, the field operations and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
Over the last few years, we have witnessed a gradual shift in the focus of the OSCE’s police-related activities, demonstrating the Organization’s ability to adapt its activities to changing security challenges facing our region.
Activities related to general police development and reform, constituting around two-thirds of the total number of activities in 2018, focused predominantly on community policing initiatives, police-public partnerships, and gender-based and domestic violence. There was a notable increase in activities on gender-based and domestic violence, as well as on human rights and police accountability. Capacity-building initiatives to counter threats posed by criminal activity focused primarily on counter-terrorism, trafficking in human beings and migration-related crime. Activities related to counter-terrorism and cybercrime both increased in 2018.
The activities outlined and described in this report are based on a comprehensive list of mandates and tasks, which have been provided by various Ministerial Council (MC) and Permanent Council (PC) decisions since 1998.
The OSCE continued to provide police assistance in two major categories: 1) general police development and reform, and 2) countering threats posed by criminal activity, including organized crime, terrorism, trafficking in illicit drugs and chemical precursors, trafficking in human beings (THB), and cybercrime.
Similar to 2017, a total of 60 per cent of police-related activities organized and delivered by the OSCE executive structures were dedicated to addressing general police development and reform (see tables on the following three pages). Within that category, the number of activities on human rights and police
accountability increased substantially between 2017 and 2018, predominantly in South-Eastern Europe. On the other hand, the number of activities related to gender and ethnic mainstreaming decreased significantly. A noticeable decrease has also occurred in activities to strengthen specialized investigations units and forensics, from 44 in 2015 to six in 2018. Activities dedicated to enhancing human rights and police accountability, community policing and police-public partnership, as well as gender-based and domestic violence projects, remained predominant. These three most frequent types represented 56 per cent of the total number of activities within the category of police development and reform.
With regard to the other main category, threats posed by criminal activity, events related to counter-terrorism and P/C VERLT, THB and migration-related crime were most prominent, representing almost 40 per cent of all activities recorded in this category. Counter-terrorism and P/C VERLT activities constitute one-fourth of all those undertaken in the category of threats posed by criminal activity, a considerable increase from the previous years, from 54 in 2016, to 92 in 2017 and 130 in 2018. The number of capacity-building and training activities related to cybercrime also rose substantially between 2017 and 2018, from 37 to 65.
Notwithstanding the unchanged OSCE mandate on police-related activities, the focus of the OSCE’s police-related activities has shifted since 2015. In 2018, activities related to human rights and police accountability, and gender-based and domestic violence, increased in comparison to the past three years. On the other hand, the total number of activities related to the fight against organized crime has decreased substantially from 50 in 2015 to 28 in 2016, 15 in 2017 and eight in 2018. Nevertheless, the total number of activities addressing threats posed by criminal activity has increased gradually from 2015 to 2018.