Bangladesh: UNODC bolsters community and beat policing mechanisms to prevent and counter violent extremism

Dhaka, Bangladesh/30 June 2024:  Finding the right balance between law enforcement and community trust is key. Countries tackling similar challenges recognize community policing's role against extremism. A close examination shows the potential for combining community and beat policing in Bangladesh with efforts to counter violent extremism. Though this approach is experimental, there is a pressing need to strengthen these initiatives in the wake of evolving threats.

In this direction, UNODC has been spearheading initiatives to enhance community and beat policing to prevent and counter violent extremism. A crucial step in this direction 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 emphasized the need 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.

As part of this, UNODC enhanced knowledge and applied skills of over 52 senior officers from Bangladesh Police including counter-terrorism officers from districts, ATU, range police and metropolitan police--with two trainings on countering violent extremism and building trust and legitimacy in Jashore and Dhaka.

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.

Law enforcement practitioners were sensitised on the evolving threats of terrorism and violent extremism and the best possible means to deal with those threats. Experts shared international good practices to strengthen trust in all dimensions of policing through fostering an ethical climate, promoting procedurally just policing and optimising communication to promote transparency and trust.

The training also supported participants in the development of a tailored action plan to implement trust-building concepts and strategies in their daily work. Mr. SM Ruhul Amin, Additional Inspector General and Chief, ATU and Mr. Marco Teixeira, Regional Representative, UNODC inaugurated the training.

The activity contributed to SDG 16 and SDG 17: 

(Supported by Global Affairs Canada)