Bangladesh: UNODC pioneers efforts on strengthening community policing to counter violent extremism

Chittagong, Bangladesh/31 January 2024:  In the realm of law enforcement, the intricate balance between maintaining societal order and building community trust plays a crucial role. Countries grappling with similar challenges recognize the potential of people-focused policing to counter violent extremism. For Bangladesh Police, community and beat policing have been integral components in fostering peace and stability. Yet, as the landscape of threats evolves, particularly with the rise of violent extremism, there arises a pressing need to recalibrate the approach.

In this context, UNODC has spearheaded a pioneering initiative to strengthen community and beat policing and countering violent extremism. A crucial step in this initiative involved a joint effort with the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU), Bangladesh Police, as part of which a meticulous technical needs assessment (TNA) was carried out to understand the current landscape and identify gaps. The TNA laid the foundation for a comprehensive capacity-building plan featuring 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 Bangladesh Police including counter-terrorism officers from districts, ATU, range police and metropolitan police--with a three-day training on countering violent extremism and building trust and legitimacy.

The training covered two modules, focused on building police legitimacy and trust and providing a nuanced understanding of the evolving threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism.

The training's objectives were multi-faceted, encompassing deep sensitization to evolving threats, sharing international expertise and good practices and supporting participants in developing tailored action plans for implementing trust-building concepts in their daily work.

Mr. SM Ruhul Amin, Additional Inspector General and Chief, ATU and Mr. Marco Teixeira, Regional Representative, UNODC graced the training as special guests, with Mr. Krishna Pada Roy, Police Commissioner, Chittagong Metropolitan Police and Mr. Noor E Alam Mina, Deputy Inspector General, Chittagong Range Police.

The activity contributed to SDG 16 and SDG 17: 

(Supported by Global Affairs Canada)