The purpose of this online forum is to facilitate discussion among civil society, academia and government stakeholders from OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, as well as experts from OSCE executive structures and international organizations, on the use of community policing or police-public partnerships as part of a human-rights compliant and gender sensitive approach to preventing terrorism and countering violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT).
Community policing, or police-public partnerships, can be defined as "a philosophy and organizational strategy that promote a partnership-based, collaborative effort between the police and the community to improve the quality of life for everyone by more effectively and efficiently identifying, preventing and solving problems of crime, eliminating fear of crime, reducing physical and social disorder, enhancing safety and security, preventing neighbourhood decay and fostering community wellness"1. In this regard, community policing requires police and citizens to join together as partners in the course of both identifying and effectively addressing threats. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the potential benefits of community policing for the purpose of counter-terrorism have received a growing amount of attention from both practitioners and researchers.
Community policing is a practical expression of democratic policing and as such its effective implementation can help ensure that governments pursue a human-right compliant and effective approach to preventing terrorism, and especially to (VERLT). The extent to which governments can tap into this potential will depend on the way, the practical measures, by which they implement community policing.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) together with the Secretariat’s Transnational Threat Department (TNT) Action against Terrorism Unit (ATU) and Strategic Police Matters Unit (SPMU) envisage the publication of a guidebook on “Preventing Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism: a Community Policing Approach” by the end of 2012. The aim of the guidebook is to provide guidance, based on international experiences and in line with OSCE commitments in the field of counter-terrorism and human rights, on how to leverage community policing as part of an effective human-rights compliant, gender sensitive and multi-disciplinary approach to countering terrorism. It would be directed to policy level officials and community leaders.
This online forum aims at facilitating the exchange of information (lessons learnt, good practices, case studies, and recommendations) among civil society, academia and government experts from OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, as well as experts from OSCE executive structures and international organizations, which will contribute to the drafting of the new guidebook. The forum will also be used for peer-review throughout the drafting process.
The online forum will be opened on 8 March 2012 and will be co-moderated by TNT/ATU, TNT/SPMU and ODIHR.
1 — Good Practice in Building Police-Public Partnerships by the Senior Police Advisor to the OSCE Secretary General, SPMU. Publication Series Vol. 4, Vienna, May 2008, p.5.