UNODC and the Ministry of Internal Affairs combine efforts to build community-oriented policing in Kazakhstan

Under the Country Workplan on support to police reform in Kazakhstan, signed jointly by UNODC and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), UNODC and MIA are working jointly to enhance the capacity of MIA officials in implementing community-oriented policing. These efforts are designed to better serve the population, as part of broader police modernization efforts in Kazakhstan. The modernization of policing was confirmed as a priority by the Kazakh president in his recent address to the nation. Since August 2021 UNODC has conducted a series of capacity-building workshops for MIA officials, the most recent of which was devoted to building an efficient and diverse police service.

The three-day workshop on "Building an efficient, diverse, and community-oriented police service for the 21st century" was held in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan on 28-30 October. Organized by UNODC, under the project on support to police reform in Kazakhstan, the workshop gathered representatives of the MIA, the Almaty, Karaganda and Kostanay Academies, the Aktobe Law Institute, Pavlodar and Shymkent Training Centres, the US Embassy in Kazakhstan, representatives of UNODC, and international experts.

Akhan Nurushev, the Head of the Sub-Division, the MIA's Department of Human Resources Policy, said that the system of internal affairs had been modernized since the beginning of 2019 and welcomed partnership with UNODC, which started contributing to the process. "The capacity of our staff and lecturers at our police academies is enhanced at various UNODC training courses, both in Kazakhstan and outside the country," he said.

Experts delivered presentations on optimizing workforce development in internal affairs bodies, including by developing an effective, inclusive and diverse police workforce and strengthening workplace culture and professional practice. The expert workshop also focused on training participants in trust-based policing and analytical competencies for community-oriented policing.

Evgeniy Penchukov, deputy head of the Scientific-Research Institute of the MIA's Karaganda Academy, stressed the relevance of the workshop in the light of the ongoing police modernization.

"The reform of the police should be based on two basic principles: improving the personal and professional skills of officers as well as rationalizing and improving the quality and efficiency of service processes. Without these two principles, the introduction of the most advanced and modern technologies and models of police service is meaningless," Penchukov said.

Wendy O’Brien, UNODC Project Manager, emphasized that UNODC is very pleased to be working in such close partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in support of police reform. “Workshops like this are an excellent opportunity for officials to deepen their knowledge about evidence-based policing, and to consider how these good practice principles can be applied in Kazakhstan, for the benefit of the community.” O’Brien said.

Participants and experts shared insights regarding the critical role of analytical work and community consultation in building a modern community-oriented police service that is ready to address the root causes of recurring problems that are identified in partnership with the community.

The UNODC project is designed to support the work of the MIA in police modernization and is carried out with financial support from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.S. Department of State.

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