For a police service close to and at the service of citizens
Resolution of Efus’ Executive Committee
Matosinhos, 17 March 2016
The elected representatives from the Executive Committee of the European Forum for Urban Security call to mind the conclusions from the Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis manifesto, “Security, Democracy and Cities,” which emphasise the fact that the police should be considered important players in the prevention chain, and that cities should play an intermediary role between the police and civil society in order to strengthen police-population relations.
Concerned about the current climate of social tension as a result of the economic and financial crisis, the refugee reception crisis, the terrorist threat and the identity crisis found in multiple European countries, they reiterate the need for the institutions in power to develop a police service which works for the service of all its citizens. Furthermore, a service which is also equipped and trained to defend the principles of democracy and ensure a quality service to the public by being accessible, responsive, open and transparent to the community, as advocated by the community policing doctrine.
With the recommendations published in February 2016 following the IMPPULSE project which aimed to strengthen police-public relations, Efus consolidated its official doctrine with regard to the issue of police-population relations.
On this basis, the Executive Committee wants to call to attention the importance of:
- The global framework for police action and links with the criminal justice system, so that the public understands that the police service is not the only agent responsible for security, but is in fact one of many actors working for social cohesion within the community.
- Constructing the police’s doctrine of action based on the principles of co-production and community policing to provide answers to the everyday problems of citizens, by promoting the quality of service provided and developing partnerships with other institutions to better analyse crime and the citizens’ needs, and to contribute and respond to these.
- Organising the police service through a bottom-up partnership-based approach whilst taking into account the principle of subsidiarity, regularly reporting to its citizens the state of security, all without neglecting minorities and residents of outlying and suburban districts.
- Developing a police service that is a mirror image of its society, with special attention paid to recruiting young officers with equal competences, to give equal chance to all candidates.
- The intermediary role of the city to strengthen the police-population relationship, taking into account the different legal and cultural realities in European countries, cities must be involved in the creation and animation of consultative forums representative of the population, which will in turn enable the establishment of a dialogue on the priorities for preventative police activities. Cities can equally play a role in guiding the citizens’ participation in the preventative action of security forces.
- To have a police service which is visible and clearly identifiable by its citizens, and which organises a reception of the public which takes into account the population’s geographical constraints and sociological components.
- That the police organises its media communication in such a way that its work, in every aspect but particularly in its community policing missions, is better represented in the press and all media productions, in order to avoid only highlighting security forces’ “crime fighting”-type operations or other sensational news.
- That the police is able to communicate effectively and convey its actions regularly and with transparency.
- To train police officers by integrating courses on the topics of violence management, mediation techniques, communication methods and mutual representations, and to promote knowledge of each territory and its population into their basic and ongoing training.
- Lastly, the question of evaluation is fundamental. Developing quantitative and qualitative follow-up tools on the evolution of police-population relations in order to measure the effects of already launched projects remains a priority.
This resolution is based upon:
– The recommendations of the Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis manifesto: “The police as an agent of prevention” (2012).
– The European Code of Police Ethics from the Council of Europe (See Recommendation Rec (2001)10 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the European Code of Police Ethics).
– The Executive Committee resolution of the French Forum for Urban Security (FFSU) March 2016 “For a national police service at the service of its citizens”.
– The work of the cities involved in the IMPPULSE project (2013-2015).
– All projects involving the question of the police organised by Efus since its creation.