This week the German Federal Foreign Office bolstered IOM’s Community Policing (CP) programme in Iraq by providing an additional 1.7 million Euros, raising Germany’s total contributions to this important effort to 5.7 million Euros.
IOM’s CP programme aims to contribute to enhanced security and stability in Iraq, by facilitating dialogue between communities and law enforcement actors, through Community Policing Forums (CPF) in communities affected by conflict and displacement.
In the last three years 101 Community Policing Forums (CPFs) have been established across Iraq with the support of IOM. CPFs aim to resolve a variety of security concerns at the community level, including those related to housing, land and property (HLP) disputes, access to water and electricity, civil unrest, documentation for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees, child protection, human trafficking, sexual harassment and domestic violence.
The German Ambassador to Iraq, Dr. Cyrill Nunn, said:
“Community Policing is an important strategy to bring together socially fragmented communities in Iraq to peacefully resolve security related problems. Germany supports Community Policing to build and strengthen mutual trust between citizens and law enforcement agencies, contributing to safe and stable communities – the building blocks of a stable Iraq.”
CPFs are facilitated by a CP officer from the local police department and by elected community members. IOM guides CPFs in the development of community safety plans which identify the most critical security and safety issues that can be addressed and tackled by the community and the police.
Gerard Waite, IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq commented:
“Issues are resolved mainly through identifying the correct entity to refer to, either law enforcement, public institutions, civil society organizations, or the community themselves.”
“The success of these forums can be seen through a variety of indicators, such as a decrease in crime, an increase in the level of cooperation from the community in solving security problems, and less use of force by police towards members of the community.”
Brigadier Khalid Falah Kadhim, head of Iraq CP Directorate within the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, testifies to the positive impact the CP model has had on local police structures at the community level:
“The logistical and technical support provided by IOM to rebuild infrastructure and strengthen the capacity of community policing has played a fundamental role in peace building in communities, and we are thankful to the Government of Germany for providing this support.”