The aim of the trip, organised by the OSCE Office in Yerevan in collaboration with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the UK Stabilization Unit, was to familiarize the Armenian Police with the reform process in Northern Ireland, particularly with the establishment and development of community policing models, educational processes as well as public order management.
The delegation was composed of the police officials in charge of different areas of police reform in the Republic of Armenia and representative of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.
During the visit the delegation had an opportunity to visit several police districts, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Police College as well as the Police Federation of Northern Ireland.
In the police districts the delegation got acquainted with the history of policing in Northern Ireland, with key recommendations of Patten report (the main strategic paper for reforming the Northern Ireland Police), the achievements and challenges of the local police. The delegation was informed that one of the main approaches of the modern Northern Ireland police is the policing with the community. Chief Superintendant Nigel Grimshaw, District C Commander comprehensively introduced the main principles of the community policing model: partnership with community, outreach and engagement, public confidence in policing. The delegation was very much interested in the way of local policing, in how to manage a transition from trouble and violence to peace, in seeking solutions and fostering trust between communities and police.
At the meeting with Northern Ireland Policing Board and Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland the delegation had a chance to better understand the oversight mechanisms over police. They were familiarized with the main responsibilities of the board which mainly oversees police activities, police effectiveness, human rights and composition of the service (reflection of community in the police). In the Police Ombudsman Office the Senior Investigation Officer John Devitt presented the main scopes of the activities of the office and the system of complaints against police in Northern Ireland. The delegation was informed that the office investigates complaints from the public, referrals from the police, historical cases, makes recommendations to Public Prosecution Service or Chief Constable. He also mentioned that during the period of 2011-12 the office received over 3300 complains related to the police failure in duty, incivility, and oppressive behaviour.
At the Police College the Delegation had a meeting with the Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody, Head of Training & Development who presented the current recruitment system as well as educational process in the police college. He also made a presentation about future public safety education approach which envisages the establishment of a single educational institution for all security-related bodies. On the same day the delegation visited the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, which represents Police Service of Northern Ireland Officers of all ranks from Constable to Chief Inspector. The Federation is a representative body, similar to a trade union but without the right to resort to industrial action.
On the last day of the visit the delegation visited police district A to learn more about public order management policy, planning event and managing problematic situations.
The delegation also participated in the meeting with the police and community representatives where the issues related with the security were discussed.