Community safety: search for common solutions
Security is never granted. Its existence to be ensured by serious efforts taken not by the police alone but community members and local authorities as well. However, it is oftentimes a question “What can I do for the safety of my street?”. On October 10, the team of the Expert Centre for Human Rights presented the publication “Community security: search for common solutions“. This guide answers the main challenges of organising a safe environment here and now.
“We all want our street, our district, and our city to be safe. Fortunately, there is clear understanding in society that the decisive role in that process belongs to residents. The community becomes a real force, that gather police and local authorities around very specific security issues. We hope that our publication will help vigorous public, state bodies and local government to get ideas on how to effectively solve security issues”, says the author of the manual, the Head of the Community Security program Ulyana Shadska.
The publication contains algorithms of actions for various security problems solutions, recommendations for the police and local authorities on how to work with residents, more than 40 cases of foreign and Ukrainian experience of security initiatives. There are separate chapters for community, police, and local government.
“Security is a mutual concern and responsibility. However, actions to ensure it should be specific, based on the ability of every particular subject to contribute to security preservation. Security consists of many components and relies on context, hence, there are no universal solutions. During our work on this topic, we managed to find the keys that provide a positive result. The guide contains a description of practices that have already been implemented, yet, it is not exhaustive,” said Roman Romanov, the Director of the Human Rights and Justice program initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation.
Despite significant international experience of implementing security initiatives on the community level, this process is gaining momentum in Ukraine only now, according to Yuriy Belousov, Executive Director of the Expert Centre for Human Rights. There is virtually no methodology based on the best national and adapted international experience on effective implementation of security initiatives nowadays in our country on the level of community.
“This guide is aimed at helping the community to solve urgent issues in creating a safe environment. The manual also contains tips and recommendations for police officers and local authorities on assessing the need of community for security, the peculiarities of dialogue establishing and working with various social groups,on development and implementation of local programs to ensure security and law and order, etc.“, – Yuriy Belousov is convinced.
Ivan Varchenko, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, also stressed the need to develop methodological references on shaping a joint vision of the development of security in Ukraine. The difference of conviction in the search for solutions bars the dialogue and cooperation on the way to a common goal of building secure Ukraine.
“This manual may become a guide for those who build security in Ukraine. The various experiences are collected there, both international and our native, for which I am very grateful“ – said the adviser.
Kateryna Belugina, head of the Community policing Department of the NPU Patrol Police presented five stories about the collaboration between police and community. Thanks to the preventive measures taken by the police in liaison with the residents of the house in Boryspil, the robbery was averted. In Lviv, following the instructions of the police officer, children helped to return stolen items. We shell tell you more about these stories in the near future on our ECHR website.
“We are very grateful for this manual. This publication will be useful not only for activists of non-governmental organisations, but also for the police, who has a lot of questions as well, and the answers are collected in one manual for the first time,“ the police officer said.
The Head of the Board of the Expert Centre for Human Rights Volodymyr Sushchenko considers ensuring the security of communities as one of the priorities for his organisation. “The Centres’ experts conduct comprehensive research in this area, develop and implement innovative models such as security office for example, conduct training events for state authorities, local governments, police and residents”, he says.
The manual was developed with the financial support of the Human Rights and Justice Program initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation