Last month, NI-CO celebrated the successful completion of a €9 million EU funded Rule of Law contract in Myanmar on which we were responsible for delivering the Community Policing Component. As the 22 month project ended, the Myanmar Police Force (MPF) and NI-CO experts had exceeded client expectations in training over 1350 MPF, representing around 27% of the total operational strength of police in the Yangon Region.
NI-CO’s long term expert in Myanmar, David Hamilton MBE commented ‘Community policing is about making communities safe and feel safe and MPF has come a long way to achieving this during the lifetime of this project. In just a short space of time, the introduction of Community Policing has seen change, positive change and hopefully lasting change. Myself and my team of experts resourced from across the UK, Sweden and Ireland worked in partnership with the MPF to deliver a number of very successful initiatives to improve public confidence in policing and restore trust in the country’s Rule of Law. For the first time in Yangon for example a schools education package was developed across 3 age groups to tackle important subjects such as Stranger Danger, Drugs and Alcohol, Fighting, Bullying etc. We also donated 100 bicycles to the police to help make police patrols more visible, more accessible and to improve response times. Special thanks must go to MPF, its Townships Commanders, Officers and Trainers, but also to the Community for playing their role in making Community Policing the success it has been.’
As part of NI-CO’s programme, the EU carried out a survey in both MTN and Sanchaung Townships asking “What changes to policing have you seen in the last 12 months”. The response from over 56% of the people was that they had seen positive changes to policing. Considering this was a short project, the results were overwhelmingly positive. Not only did more than 56% of the people state that they had seen positive change but they explained where that change had occurred, for example:
They now see more patrolling, including bicycle patrolling, day and night.
They said the police were now doing more law enforcement.
Crime has reduced.
This is only the beginning for Community Policing in Myanmar and NI-CO look forward to offering more support to community policing in the coming years.