Some 15 participants from six African countries were the beneficiaries of a landmark training seminar on urban policing held in Barcelona last month.
The seminar entitled ‘Improving Policing of Public Events in Urban Spaces’ was organised by UN-HABITAT and the Institute of Public Safety of Catalonia in partnership with the Swedish National Police Board and the City of Montréal Police Service and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
It was held under the framework of the Safer Cities’ Police Platform for Urban Development which was established in 2009 to promote the dialogue between the Police, city managers, urban development actors, and key stakeholder groups thereby enhancing social cohesion and conviviality in urban spaces.
The 15 participant were from varied professional backgrounds and included police officers, local government employees, researchers and youth representatives. The training seminar was an opportunity to identify strengths, weakness and opportunities in policing public events in Rwanda, Nigeria, Cameroun, Mauritius, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
There were presentations and debates on different models of policing and the seminar also provided a platform for participants to share experiences from their different countries. The training seminar was based on real cases of democratic management of public events in urban spaces using the theory of social identities as an entry point.
Furthermore the training sessions focused on different fields of action in which the police experts and researchers of Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden and Portugal have worked closely with other stakeholders to improve urban security.
In addition, a participatory review of the draft outline on Smart Policing of Public events in Africa was conducted. A handbook on the guidelines scheduled for publishing in 2012 will serve as a reference tool for policy makers, police bodies, and local authorities in their efforts to improve policing of public events.
The next training is scheduled to take place from 8-12 November 2010 and 25 participants will be drawn from 10 French speaking African countries. The results of this second training will contribute to the finalization of the proceedings of the training seminar on Improving Democratic Policing of Public Events.