police training participantsFrom July 12-16, in Barcelona, Spain. UNITAR and UN-HABITAT came together with the other members of the Police Platform on Urban Development (PPUD) to offer the initiative’s first training seminar since its launch in November 2009. The first training seminar, titled “Improving the Policing Public Events in Urban Spaces, focused on training participants from various African countries, such as Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Nigeria. Each country had at least two participants representing both municipal or local government institutions and national policing departments to establish exploratory dialogue between local administrative and police institutions involved in public order management.

Participants had the opportunity to explore cases, best practices and lessons learnt public order themes through presentations from Swedish, Canadian, Portuguese, and Catalan policing and security institutions. The event was hosted with the support of PPUD partners such as the Institute of Public Safety of Catalonia, where the training was held, the Swedish National Police Board, and the City of Montréal Police Service.

This training seminar is organised under the framework of the Police Platform for Urban Development (PPUD) which was established in 2009 with the aim of supporting and facilitating dialogue between the Police and other urban development actors, particularly decision makers and key stakeholder groups, including youth and women, to enhance the co-production of security through the reduction of social and situational factors of crime, violence and fear of insecurity.

This first training initiative under PPUD encouraged participants to develop critical thinking, strategies, and select relevant tactics under the context of their local realities. UNITAR’s role involved facilitation and evaluation of the event to enhance north-south interaction and exchange among local authorities focusing on capacity gaps, needs and strengths and weaknesses in public order planning and response processes through the use of CityShare Methodology components. This involved exploring and comparing between participant and presenter cases on public order management and stimulating discussions and identifying key challenges and local needs in enhancing democratic governance and rights-based policing of events in the African context.

All participants, including presenting institutions from Canada, Sweden and Spain, had a strong shared focus on Community Policing and a multi-stakeholder approach to public events management and conviviality. Participants also explored and presented on their strengths and weaknesses in public events management, sharing exemplary cases such as Rwanda’s involvement of local community actors in roles of mediation, conflict resolution, and social justice alongside broader police and judicial services.

Further training events will be held this November 2010 in Barcelona as a follow up for Francophone African local authorities with the support of UN HABITAT, UNODC, UNITAR and Montreal, Spanish, Nigerian and Swedish members of the PPUD platform.