The Ministry of Interior holds Community Policing Seminar

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Under the patronage of the Minister of State for Interior Affairs HE Sheikh Abdullla bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Ministry of Interior in association with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) MENA region, organized a seminar on community policing at Doha Sheraton Hotel on Tuesday 26/10/2010 on the sidelines of Milipol Qatar 2010. The seminar was attended by the director general of Public Security (DGPS) Staff. Maj. Gen. Saa'd bin Jassim Al Khulailfi and a number state guests participating in Milipol Qatar and concerned with the subject matter of the seminar and several directors and staffs of the different departments at the Ministry of Interior.

In his words at the opening the seminar, HE the DGPS welcomed the guests and those present to Doha, "the city of bounty and generosity, the city of stability and investment, a city that witnesses from mid nineties of 20th century a big leap, inclusive upswing and successful march in all spheres under the wise leadership of the Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and the Heir Apparent HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani whereas the State of Qatar could occupy a prominent and prestigious place among the nations and its people work like a solid structure and a single body", he described.

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"The communication revolution and the scientific progress has brought newer and advanced methods of breaking laws and scaring innocent people and it also led to the emergence of new patterns of crimes requiring concreted efforts to fight them in order to achieve citizen's safety and stability securing his legitimate rights to get assured of himself, his wealth, honor, values and belief", he noted.

The director general also added that introduction of community policing will establish necessary communication between community members and law enforcement agencies cementing the idea of joint responsibility in protecting the homeland and its citizens.

He stressed that the seminar is conducted in the context of introducing community policing in Qatar to clarify its objectives, methods and programs and its role in the fight against crime.

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On his part, the regional representative of UNODC, MENA region Prof. Mohammed Abdul Azeez affirmed that the seminar got specific importance in the context of constructive partnership between UNODC, MENA region and the State of Qatar which is stepping towards democratic process, achieving justice, protecting rights and freedoms and updating the criminal justice system that would preserve democratic institutions.

"The security agencies, whatever capabilities including special training and advanced technology given to them, they alone cannot deal with challenges posed by the crime in all of its manifestations and forms and the requirements of justice without active participation of all segments of the society that influence the role of police and get influenced by it", affirmed UNODC representative.

He also added that the research studies show that the community policing has a pivotal role in educating all segments of the society on risks and facing alien behaviors and ideas especially those hits the values, customs and traditions of Arab countries as well it has a focal role to play in fostering trust between different segments of the society and promoting affiliation to the homeland.

"Moving forward in laying foundations of community policing urges responding to several requirements such as shifting from traditional concept of security police to community policing concept and it can accomplish the desired goals only if it is implemented in a democratic environment that respects rights and freedom." He stressed.

The First paper:

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Then three papers were presented. The first one was on community policing and its contribution in prevention of crime and fight against it, prepared by Dr. Joseph B. Kuhns, Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and it was presented on his behalf by Edward R. Maguire, Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Justice, Law & Society at American University, Washington. He emphasized that there are a group of similar problems faced by officials in US and other countries while applying community policing. There was lack confidence by citizens in the police in the light of increasing volume of crime in American society which created a feeling of fear towards community policing also.

"Based on the above, a team was set up to study the works of police which brought results that the relation between police and community was not much advanced particularly in poor communities, multi-ethnic, multi-race and multi-religious communities as the attitude of the individuals was varied from one to another", The paper clarified.

The paper also described that the community policing is a proactive policing for solving issues in the community and analyzing the patterns of crime and work on problem solving before it occurs.

The second paper
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The second paper presented by Brigadier Rahshid Shahin Al Ateeq, Assistant Secretary of Arab Interior Ministers' Council, covered the strategy of the Ministry of Interior (MoI). It illustrated the history of Qatar in last decades emphasizing that the concept of community policing is already existing in our customs and traditions that rejects any wrong behavior and through the Islamic concept of promotion of the virtue and prevention of the vice.

"The establishment of community policing comes in the context of enhancing security and enrooting the principle of partnership and responsibility in the ensuring security and stability and it comes as the embodiment of the slogan 'security is responsibility of all', he added.

Then the Brigadier explained vision and mission of community policing strategy defining them and its pillars and goals that include cementing the principles of human rights, developing the concept of community partnership among those working at police agencies and community members, supporting the positive values of the community, fighting harmful habits and behaviors, improving the image of police among the community members in order to achieve higher levels of trust between them, developing the spirit of cooperation and joint responsibility and create greater convergence between security personnel and people.

Then he spoke on applying the strategy of community policing. "Community policing will carry out its assignments in a perfect way. Councils chaired by security department directors with members being from the officials and residents of area consist of both gender will be formed to create an environment of partnership and dialogue between security departments and the residents of the area in the field of preventing crimes, reviving social bonds and cementing positive relations between all", he mentioned.

The last paper

The last paper was presented by Edward R. Maguire whereas he appreciated the words of Brigadier Rashid Al-Ateeq for explaining the history of Qatar Police, its organizational structure and its method of operation.

"We have introduced community policing because we are concerned with partnership with the society and in spreading justice and equality. The concept of community policing and its application has started spreading across the globe. But one country cannot copy the experiments another country as it is without considering the social, cultural and religious differences", he explained.

"We have to invest heavily in research studies on strategies of policing to know the active factors and understand the weak points in that" the professor said.