Frances knows that community policing works. As an officer with the Police Service of Northern Ireland for 31 years, she saw first hand the difference it makes.
More than 20 years ago, the police in Northern Ireland simply weren’t trusted by the public. As Frances describes it, “we were losing.” Her fellow officers were murdered at an alarming rate, almost daily. Something had to be done to change the situation and community policing was the answer. Police in Northern Ireland stepped out from behind their armoured vehicles and started listening to the public.
It worked. Communities began to trust the officers they saw every day. As that trust grew, so too did everyone’s safety.
Now Frances works for the Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NI-CO) and she’s been helping train the Myanmar Police Force in community policing since 2013. She sees many similarities between the issues confronted by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the struggles the MPF faces today. That’s why she’s committed to assisting the police here.
“I know that we can relate to one another,” she says. “I know that the Myanmar Police can do it.”
Her expertise is essential to MYPOL’s efforts in helping the MPF become a modern agency. Based on Frances’s knowledge of community policing, MYPOL is able organise trainings to teach these skills to officers throughout the country.
“It is every police officer’s role to be a community police officer. It should be the ethos of the organisation.”
And for Frances, the work has already been rewarding. She says the people of Myanmar have been incredibly welcoming and the willingness of both public and police to change is truly inspiring.