Community Policing is not just one part of policing. It is all policing.
Every officer can use it in some way. This is the main message MYPOL is trying
to bring to the MPF as the project teaches community policing in four key
townships in Yangon.
In Hlaing Thayar, Sanchaung, Thanlyin, and Yankin, MYPOL is working with township police on topics like the importance of listening and communicating, emotional intelligence and problem solving. But above all, MYPOL is teaching officers how members of the community can be valuable partners to solve and prevent crimes and improve community safety.
MYPOL brings in experts from the UK to share this knowledge. Many of them are former police officers from Northern Ireland who have first-hand experience of how effective community policing can be. In the wake of on-going violence and conflict in Northern Ireland, the introduction of Community Policing built trust and community partnerships which helped end the fighting. It worked and now these police want to help share their experiences with the MPF.
The officers they train in the four townships have said that MYPOL’S guidance is beginning to show results. In the words of one Lieutenant:
“Some members of the communities do not want to work with the police because they don’t trust the police. After applying what had been taught in the Emotional Intelligence training, they are more willing to contribute themselves in the policing activities.”
With the knowledge and skills they received from MYPOL, MPF officers can now teach their fellow police how to use the principles of Community Policing. MYPOL still assists by coaching and mentoring these MPF trainers and sharing their experiences.
In addition to working with the MPF, MYPOL has also encouraged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to work together with the police in a positive way. Last year, MYPOL led a series of workshops with CSOs to help members of the public understand the MPF’s perspective and how to build mutual trust.
Police and communities working together can lead to increased safety for everyone. When there is mutual trust, they can help solve and prevent crimes faster and more effectively. Though MYPOL is working in Yangon for now, the news of Community Policing is already beginning to spread across the country.