Planning for Success

The training course 'Operational Planning for Law Enforcement Officers', run by UNODC ROCA from the 21 st to the 25 th of February, was a unique opportunity to bring together international law enforcement officers in a meeting of minds.

Run within the framework of the project  'Precursor Control in Central Asia', the workshop facilitated the exchange of ideas and best international practices in relation to operational planning and the conducting of controlled deliveries.

The workshop addressed a number of topics including the stages of operational planning, the importance of command protocols, the need to maintain human rights during policing operations, the role of individual levels of command in the Metropolitan Police, the briefing and de-briefing process, the inner workings of the British court system, and last but not least a thorough discussion of a hypothetical controlled delivery of Precursor Chemicals.

The workshop was attended by eighteen law enforcement officers, representing the National Security Services, Ministries of internal Affairs, Customs Control Committees and Drug Control Agencies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and was directed by three London Metropolitan Police trainers and UNODC Senior Law Enforcement advisor Steven Brown.

In addition to informational presentations, the workshop combined a variety of education mediums which included informational presentations, analyses of hypothetical and previously-undertaken operations, and interactive discussion sessions.

While the discussions were occasionally very animated, especially when methods of conducting a hypothetical controlled delivery were debated, the workshop feedback indicated that participants welcomed the chance to discuss universally-relevant topics with their international colleagues. They also stated their intentions to pass learned information onto their fellow officers.

Topics that received particular attention during the workshop included the process of balancing an operation's planning with its rapid and timely undertaking, the role of informants in investigations, the procedures through which evidence can be obtained and used, and the methods of conducting controlled deliveries both domestically and across national borders.

The training activity was conducted in the framework of Operation TARCET, a regional initiative designed to increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies in intercepting smuggled consignments of precursors. The operation particularly focuses on Afghanistan-bound Acetic Anhydride, which is necessary in the heroin manufacturing process.

Since the beginning of Operation TARCET in 2008, more than forty tonnes of Acetic Anhydride have been seized in countries neighbouring Afghanistan. This has represented a significant improvement from the years between 2001 and 2007, during which there were no reported seizures of the chemical. Acetic Anhydride is a crucial compound required in the heroin manufacturing process, with forty tonnes of the chemical required to produce twenty tonnes of heroin.

The activity was funded by Canada with in-kind contributions from the United Kingdom.