5 June 2012 -- UN police (UNPOL) advisers are conducting a series of training courses this month for South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) officers assigned to Upper Nile State.
On June 2, members of the UNPOL engineering unit gave a workshop for 20 SSPS officers in Malakal on vehicle service and maintenance, and a five-day course in community relations for 25 SSPS officers got underway on 4 June.
The community relations training is intended to improve relations between police officers and communities and also raise awareness among SSPS personnel about gender issues, the rights of children and other human rights issues.
Instruction in techniques of criminal investigation and VIP protection is also being offered during the week-long course.
Participants will later form community policing committees with local chiefs in the areas of Upper Nile State where they are assigned.
“If police are friendly to the community, they will not violate human rights because they become part of the community,” said UNPOL training coordinator Maj. Serhii Mazurov of Ukraine. “Human rights violations happen when police are practicing a military style of law enforcement.”
The deputy director of the SSPS training center in Malakal, Maj. Peter Ajak Geny, welcomed the series of training courses organized by UNPOL as an opportunity for his officers to acquire more practical knowledge about international law enforcement standards and techniques.
“I want to call upon our government in South Sudan to coordinate with the UN so that our officers take part in peacekeeping operations to share their experience,” he said.
The community policing committees that will be created after the conclusion of this week’s training course will contact schools and community-based organizations about the importance of good relations between police and communities and the contribution they can make to an overall reduction in crime.
These courses are the latest in a series of trainings that have been offered by UNPOL on topics ranging from computer skills to the proper use of English, according to Maj. Mazurov.