Bangladesh: UNODC builds law enforcement capacities on community policing to counter violent extremism

Rajshahi, Bangladesh/19 October 2023: Violent extremism and terrorism remain key global threats, imperiling public safety, security, stability, and human rights. Effective responses to these challenges demand a multifaceted approach.

Community policing can act as a linchpin in these efforts, by actively engaging with community members, nurturing trust, and building a cooperative environment conducive to information exchange. Numerous countries grappling with extremist threats have identified a significant role for community and beat policing in addressing these emerging challenges.

In this context, UNODC and the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) of the Bangladesh Police have initiated a series of consultations to promote community-based policing strategies. This project, generously funded by the Government of Canada, takes a comprehensive approach to prevent radicalization and also provides support for the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals entangled in violent activities.

Continuing these efforts, UNODC enhanced knowledge and applied skills of over 25 senior officers from the District Counterterrorism Unit (CTU) of Rajshahi and Rangpur Divisions, Range Police,  Metropolitan Police and the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU)--with a three-day training on countering violent extremism and building trust and legitimacy.

Officials were sensitized on the evolving threats of terrorism and violent extremism, promoted international expertise on strategies to strengthen trust in all dimensions of policing and optimising communication to promote transparency.

The discussions covered two key modules: the importance of Police Legitimacy and Trust, and demystifying Terrorism, Violent Extremism, and Legal Responses.

The training supported participants with the development of a tailored action plan to implement trust-building concepts and strategies in their daily work.

Mr. Abdul Alim Mahmud, Deputy Inspector General (Operations), ATU and Mr. Marco Teixeira, UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia addressed the participants.

This collaborative effort marked an important step forward in strengthening law enforcement and community engagement to counter the evolving threats of terrorism and violent extremism in Bangladesh. By fostering trust, transparency, and effective communication, UNODC and the Bangladesh Police are working together to build a safer, more secure future for the nation.

This activity contributed to SDG 5, 16 and 17:

(Funded by Global Affairs Canada)