UNODC and INL Help Build Community-Based Partnerships on Crime Prevention in Kyrgyzstan

At the end of November, 2017, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) teamed up with local authorities and police in Jeti-Oguz city to open a renovated police-station and local crime prevention centre. Two million Kyrgyz soms were spent on refurbishment works, half of which was covered by the Ministry of Interior of the Kyrgyz Republic and local self-governing bodies.

"INL, in partnership with UNODC, is assisting in the implementation of local crime prevention plans for 2017-2018 in 10 municipalities. In addition, INL partially funded the construction of six modern police stations. These projects promote community policing and strong partnerships between the police, local government and the communities such as the one in Jeti-Oguz," remarked Sandeep Paul, INL Director at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek.

"Crime prevention work undertaken in Jeti-Oguz serves as a good example of effective police-public partnership." - said Koen Marquering, UNODC's International Coordinator.

Furthermore, local crime prevention centres play an important coordinating role in the area of crime prevention in Kyrgyzstan. With INL funding, a series of workshops were held for members of the local crime prevention centre in Jeti-Oguz in addition to a public awareness raising campaign launched to inform the population about the services provided by the centre.  

"As a result of these efforts, a local crime prevention plan is successfully being implemented in Jeti-Oguz." - Mr. Marquering noted.

"The project in Jeti-Oguz has not only strengthened the partnership between the police and the community, but also triggered local budget allocations for improving public safety and preventing crime," noted the INL Director.

A crime prevention working group, composed of local government officials, police officers, members of the local crime prevention centre and other civil society activists regularly conduct consultations with the population to identify crime and public safety issues that are of concern to the people in the municipality.  This year, they prioritized interventions to counter the risk of violent extremism, domestic violence and juvenile delinquency with a series of dialogue platforms on the prevention of extremism.  In order to develop critical thinking and increase the resilience of the youth to violent extremism, they involve children and teenagers in a forum theater and sports activities.

It is also worth noting Jeti Oguz's achievements in addressing cattle theft and road traffic accidents, which are common occurrences in Kyrgyzstan. Thanks to a series of joint interventions, livestock in Jeti-Oguz is actively being registered and measures have been taken to suppress the illegal trade in livestock. Also, video cameras have been installed along the main provincial road, which encourages compliance with the speed limit and promotes road and public safety more broadly.

UNODC promotes crime prevention within the framework of its Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019 with financial support provided by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).