Engaging in a Local Context – Potential Law Enforcement Initiatives
Broad Community Initiatives
Where appropriate, hold regular roundtables, periodic consultations, dialogues, surveys, or meetings with community members to build trust and better understanding.
Ongoing initiatives include:
“Police cafés” – Police officers invite around 100 community members – including teachers, government officials, cultural and religious leaders – to a meeting in a neutral, public place. Participants discuss and write down responses to a set of three questions:
- What is the biggest crime trend in your neighborhood?
- How can I, as a citizen, help in solving local problems?
- What can police and local authorities do to address this
Participants then rotate tables, continue the conversation, and mark those issues they think are a priority. Through this method, police officials are encouraged to think of community members as their clients and assess their needs. Each police café concludes with a summary of findings and discussion of next steps, with a commitment to follow up with community members on the items discussed.
Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security (CCRS) – The Government of Canada is engaged in dialogue on preventing and countering violent extremism, through the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security and through its outreach activities. As a citizen engagement tool, the CCRS provides the Government with a mechanism to engage a diverse group of Canadians, drawn from various regions and communities across Canada, on national security issues. Through consultations and meetings, the CCRS has provided policy makers insights into the perceived effect on, and reaction of members of various communities to any number of policy and program proposals related to national security, including countering violent extremism. The CCRS has also established two Sub-Groups on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism to provide recommendations to Government on the needs of communities with regard to prevention efforts. Since 2009, the CCRS has supported the Government of Canada in conducting outreach activities in communities. In recent months, in-depth discussions with selected youth on the subject of preventing and countering violent extremism have been held.
Public Policy Make Peace – This policy was formulated to support individuals, families and communities in their mission of transmitting the principles and values of democracy and coexistence, as well as providing the basic units of the community with appropriate instruments to resolve conflicts peacefully, and increasing the provision of qualified services to families in conflict and victims of domestic violence through the combined work of national institutions and local authorities. In this regard, the Colombian Family Welfare Institute-ICBF- has been working since 2003 on the implementation of this policy on the ground through the “National Plan for Peacebuilding and Family Harmony” and provides technical assistance to departments and municipalities for the formulation and implementation of their own plans.
“Neighborhood Scan” – Police officers are required to develop a yearly plan for engagement with the community, including the identification of which issues are important for that community. To accomplish this, the Netherlands police have implemented a “Neighborhood Scan” methodology to identify the needs of specific communities. A key challenge in COP programs is identifying the people who actually represent the community; the “Neighborhood Scan” can help identify these individuals who can help determine the community’s most significant safety and security issues.
Local Security Councils – Different community stakeholders meet with Spanish State Security Forces to discuss problems and concerns and to establish plans for countering specific problems or providing solutions. The local security councils are distributed nationwide and feature the participation of representatives from local and national government. The responsibilities of these local councils include: establishing the forms and procedures necessary for achieving effective coordination among the different State Security Forces within the municipal territory, and analyzing and assessing the evolution of crime and other problems which may affect everyday life in the municipality.
Risk Assessment – The National Counterterrorism Coordination Centre is developing a new tool for measuring levels of radicalization and the risk of terrorist attacks. The tool will identify the most vulnerable groups in the population to facilitate the adoption of the most appropriate measures for resolving situations or minimizing their consequences.
Operation Nicole – This is a DVD-based table-top exercise which aims to break down barriers between the police and Muslim communities by providing an understanding of how police counterterrorism operations work. The decision-making process is assisted by a number of national experts in the field of counterterrorism investigations, and from critical partners including Senior Investigating Officers (SIO) from counterterrorism units. The five-hour exercise engages community groups in thought and debate about extremism in a policing context and dispels some of the myths that exist in respect to CT operations. Police officers are also able to see the impact that such operations have on diverse communities.
Incident Community Coordination Teams (ICCT) – ICCTs allow for rapid, two-way communication between the Federal Government and impacted communities after a homeland security incident so that they can discuss relevant concerns and maintain transparency.
CE Roundtables – The United States conducts quarterly CE roundtable meetings in 16 cities across the United States to receive feedback, address grievances, and discuss solutions. This not only promotes multi-sectoral and interagency participation, but provides a platform for assessing the effectiveness of COP and CVE programming and making adjustments as needed.
Community Awareness Briefing – The Community Awareness Briefing (CAB) provides opportunities for diverse communities and law enforcement to build understanding and strong partnerships that can assist in identifying behaviors, tactics, and other indicators of potential violence. CAB presentations include a comprehensive overview of the homegrown violent extremism issue and the predatory nature of the al-Qa’ida narrative on American youth. As violent extremists of all persuasions attempt to recruit and inspire individuals to commit acts of violence, the CAB can help communities and law enforcement develop the necessary understanding of some of these tactics and explore ways to address them before they become a challenge at the local level.
Community Resilience Exercise – The Community Resilience Exercise (CREX) is a table-top exercise designed to improve trust, understanding, and communication between law enforcement and communities and to share ideas on how best to prevent potential violent extremism in their communities.
This exercise uses an unfolding scenario of possible violent extremist activity with two threads:
- One thread disclosing what the police have learned
- The other thread disclosing what the community experiences
The participants switch roles throughout the day in order to learn different perspectives. The scenario, based on actual past cases, is revealed in several stages, with participants breaking into small groups after each stage to discuss potential responses and how they should work together (and challenges in doing so). The exercise is facilitated by an individual with credibility in both the community and government.
Assign a dedicated community officer liaison to the community to present a consistent face and build trust.
Engage private sector businesses, national and local government agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), academia, local health care providers, social workers, teachers, and the media in order to develop new concepts and approaches and to collaborate.
Ongoing initiatives include
CAPRA Model – CAPRA is a model of COP employed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) which emphasizes providing quality service, protection, enforcement and prevention, in partnership with clients/communities. The model emphasizes the importance of:
- Developing and maintaining partnerships and trust within communities to establish priorities for service delivery and preventive problem solving;
- Understanding clients’ perspectives on work-related matters for establishing priorities and potential partnerships in service delivery; and
- Encouraging ongoing feedback for continuous improvement.
The RCMP is developing a CVE “train the trainers” program to raise awareness of CVE indicators among front line police officers, provide training and tools to key partners, mobilize community resources, and develop intervention plan tactics which can be adapted on a case-by-case basis. The goal is to advance policing priorities, including national security, leveraging existing resources, community policing relationships, and improved partnership to create enduring societal programs and enhance resilience to violent extremism, making the environment less hospitable for it to foment.
The Matrix – The Matrix is a tool used by municipal authorities and community police officers to identify, prioritize, and address safety and security issues in partnership with community stakeholders (multi-agency approach). It is a COP tool to bring different agencies with diverse interests to work together on a local safety issue. It can overcome known problems of cooperation between different stakeholders, such as different corporate objectives and visions, different corporate cultures and ‘languages’, and helps to find a common definition of the problem and the outcome. In the approach, each individual contribution is clearly described.
General COP Programs – The Ministry of Interior works with both citizens and expatriates to develop mutual respect and understanding of cultural norms, laws, and religious practices, emphasizing that all are partners in the security of the State of Qatar. COP programs also stress the importance of empowerment and inclusion of all communities. Qatar integrates different expatriate communities in national celebrations and festivals and actively seeks their input.
Channel – Channel is a multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalization. Channel uses existing collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners (such as the education and health sectors, social services, children and youth services, and offender management service), the police, and the local community to:
- Identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism
- Assess the nature and extent of that risk
- Develop the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned
Establish mechanisms to facilitate easier communication between communities and law enforcement. Provide materials and resources to individuals and communities on ways to contact local law enforcement.
Ensure that the composition of law enforcement organizations reflects the diversity of local communities by taking affirmative steps to recruit individuals from all relevant backgrounds.
Consider changing the logos and names of the police, where necessary, to reflect a culture of “protect and serve,” rather than just one of security services.
Build relationships with media outlets to foster opportunities to proactively highlight community-oriented policing programs and how law enforcement organizations work with the community.
Foster connections with the broader community in order to facilitate mentorship opportunities for marginalized or at-risk youth with leaders from private businesses, media, academia, and other fields.
Hold competitions to foster creative outlets for youth to put together campaigns highlighting the danger of violent extremism and offer positive alternatives.
Visit local schools to initiate dialogue with students about issues of concern to them and present on current threats in their community; involve former violent extremists and victims of terrorism in this outreach.
Ongoing initiatives include:
The RCMP’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program aims to educate children and youth about the dangers and resistance of drugs in school and communities. At risk youth may be exposed to and subsequently adopt radical violent views. The Aboriginal Shield Program is designed to offer culturally-relevant teachings that can easily be adapted and expanded to fit individual community needs and complement existing local initiatives. The program is delivered in a collaborative manner, is community-led and police-assisted, and has successfully enabled Aboriginal youth to gain a sense of cultural connection and pride, while learning to make informed choices about drug use and related activities.
National Day for the Civil Guard – Once a year, the Civil Guard organizes celebrations in small communities throughout Spain, bringing together the community and police officers. It also organizes monthly school outreach programs, bringing students to the Civil Guard to learn about its history and CE practices. The Civil Guard funds these activities, ensuring all schools can participate in these activities regardless of resources.
National Police Youth Engagement – The National Police has different programs for school visitations where the police make presentations to students about drugs, Internet safety, and other issues. Additionally, citizens can visit the National Police Academies. Additionally, in 2007, Spain crated PLAN CONTIGO, in which the Civil Guard and the National Place built the website “Tuenti” to help combat violence in schools, with special attention to bullying, Internet use, and drug use. It is integrated into Spain’s Master Plan for the Improvement of Living and School Safety. To date, 65,000 young people have participated, and through “Tuenti,” they can receive support, information and advice on any issues of concern.
Initiate sports competitions that connect respected sports figures in the community with marginalized or at-risk youth.
Hold roundtables and meetings with mothers to establish safe and comfortable zones to discuss sensitive issues like the signs of radicalization to violence.
Ongoing initiatives include:
Shanaz Network – The Shanaz Network is formed of 50 women from a number of backgrounds, races, and religions, including representatives from each of the 43 police forces of England and Wales. The Network is supported by a number of women’s groups and professional institutions. The Network’s objectives include:
- Work to address ideologies which terrorists use to recruit people to their cause;
- Work to support those who may be vulnerable to radicalization; and
- Work to strengthen institutions which can play a role in the UK Counter Terrorism strategy.
The Shanaz Network will report on and review progress through an online community forum.
Ongoing initiatives include:
Plan Playing and Plan Seeds of Knowledge – The Plan Playing is a strategy designed for parents and children in high social risk communities, to teach them the rights and duties of the children and within the community work to generate a proposal to improve their situation and create alternatives of personal development. The Plan Seeds of Knowledge is a strategy designed to teach children and adolescents the effects of committing a crime or contravention. It is divided in a program for children and adolescents in schools and learning centers and a program for parents to teach them how to explain these effects to their children.
Community Contact Officers – At the point executive action is taken in a CT investigation, there is the potential to alienate family members and friends. This could make these individuals susceptible to radicalizing influences as radicalizers seek to exploit the grievance. How the family is treated can also resonate and impact wider community relations. Contact officers are allocated to deal with the family needs, update them on the investigation, deal with matters such as access to premises or property, advise them on media issues, and support them through the court process. This supports the family, prevents miscommunication, and reduces the risk of the arrest fostering negativity in the community and becoming a grievance.
For Law Enforcement
Provide regular training programs to law enforcement on the parameters of COP, the importance of trust-building, and the cultures and customs of the communities with which they are engaging; consider institutionalizing the culture of COP throughout police infrastructure, not just training front-line officers; develop easily accessible training manuals on potential indicators of radicalization and recruitment to violence.
Ongoing or planned initiatives include:
The RCMP Counter Terrorism Information Officers Training provides front line police officers and other first responders with terrorism awareness training. This training is also provided to front line workers and NGOs across Canada. With this knowledge, Counter Terrorism Information Officers are able to inform and educate others within their workplace, thereby enhancing awareness and operational preparedness relating to terrorism. The goal of this initiative is to increase national security awareness in first responders across the country so they can identify national security threats at the earliest possible stage.
The community policing and prevention of radicalization (COPPRA) training program focuses on empowering police officials through COP to work with local communities increasing their resilience to radicalization and to intervene in support of individuals at risk of violent extremism. This EU project was set up during the Belgian EU Presidency 2010, is funded by the European Commission, and has developed tools to prevent terrorist acts through the early detection of possible signs of radicalization. It initially comprised the creation of a user-friendly tool and a common curriculum for its use to support frontline police officers in detecting extremists in their daily work and also the identification and exchange of good practices on how to stop the spread of radicalization in close partnership with other local partners. Later on, other tools were created, including a pocket guide and a train-the-trainer course, including a Trainer’s Handbook. These pocket guides have been produced in a number of languages aimed at aiding front line officers. Over 140 individuals throughout Europe have become COPPRA trainers and 15 member states, EUROPOL and the European Police Colleague (CEPOL) have participated in the project.
COP Trainings – This project entails a series of training seminars which:
Provide participants with key strategies for the integration of COP philosophy in police efforts to counter violent extremism;
Teach methodologies on how police institutions can evaluate both the threats that violent extremists pose to their societies and their institutional capacity to counter these threats; and
Instill knowledge of tools and services relevant to CVE efforts provided by international organizations.
Hydra Immersive Learning – Numerous ‘Serious Case Reviews’ in the UK in non-CT environments have recommended multi-agency training as a way forward. Historically, agencies have delivered training within their own agency for their own staff. This has meant that when agencies come together to work on a shared agenda, barriers can be created with the language used between the agencies, gaps can occur between service provision, and different understandings of risk, responsibility, and vulnerability exist. The UK has used immersive learning where all agencies are represented and scenarios are used as a vehicle to explore issues and understanding. The scenarios develop with additional information feeds through the life of the exercise. The exercises are designed so that participants become fully immersed in the scenarios. It creates a ‘safe learning environment’ where the answers are not front-loaded, and the participants work through the issues and implications themselves so ‘true learning’ occurs. As prevention of terrorism is a multi-agency approach, this type of exercise is essential for engaging all partners.
CVE Community Strategies in Southeast Asia – This project will support the development and implementation of the community-derived strategies to stabilize areas vulnerable to violent extremism. These strategies will include mentoring and training law enforcement personnel in community engagement, facilitation and conflict mitigation, and communication techniques with other stakeholders. Through increased cooperation between community leaders, law enforcement, and local government, this project will build community resilience to violent extremism by addressing factors of community instability, disenfranchisement, and marginalization.
For the Community
Offer workshops exploring the opportunities for involving multiple sectors of the community, including local law enforcement, in community outreach efforts.
Provide the community materials and resources on the signs of radicalization and recruitment to violence and ways to engage on the subject.
Ongoing or planned initiatives include:
Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security (CCRS) – The CCRS is one mechanism through which the Government of Canada works with communities on issues related to national security. The CCRS brings together citizens who are leaders in their respective communities and who have extensive experience in social and cultural matters. This group meets formally two to four times a year to consider policies and programs and provide input and relay the concerns of communities on issues related to national security. This dialogue allows for a greater understanding of the issues faced by communities. The Government, in partnership with CCRS members and other community leaders, also organizes integrated federal outreach events which aim to increase the knowledge of both newcomers to Canada and to youth about the mandate and activities of the various departments and agencies responsible for national security, and to improve levels of trust and understanding with these organizations. The sessions also inform government presenters as to the issues and concerns that participants have in regard to their security in Canada. Youth sessions utilize interactive activities to stimulate participation and discussion between youth and national security officials.
Religious Community Training – The Deputy Directorate-General for Relations with Faiths is working with the Pluralismo y Convivencia (Pluralism and Coexistence) Foundation (FPyC) to launch a specific training aimed at religious communities and at the local and regional public administrations, with the goal of promoting the management of religious diversity through more in-depth knowledge of the law, the systems and tools of religious bodies, and the different aspects of religious freedom.