The OSCE Centre in Bishkek co-operates with the Government of Kyrgyzstan on a police reform programme that aims to improve the professionalism and operational capacity of the Kyrgyz police force and serves as a basis for comprehensive police reform.
The current phase of the programme covers areas such as police order management, emergency call centres, the Police Academy, human resource management, professional development in forensics and criminal investigations and community policing.
Since the launch of the community policing component of the police reform programme in 2003, various activities have been carried out. At that time, just one pilot region practised community policing, while today all of Bishkek does.
One of the most significant achievements is the changes to the duties and responsibilities of the neighbourhood inspectors. According to community policing officers, police work has become more efficient and visible thanks to the technical and methodological assistance provided by the OSCE.
The training covers such topics as human rights, domestic violence, ethics and cultural awareness, while other areas including problem solving, public-police relations, communication and effective presentation skills are also addressed.
Participants also attend 'out of class' activities with community representatives, secondary schoolchildren, NGOs and territorial community councils. The aim is to improve public-police relations, to demonstrate the willingness of the police to be transparent and accountable and to gain the trust of the people. These meetings are helping to make people aware that the police are changing from a force to a service, which works with and for the people.
Training sessions are being conducted in order to raise the professional standards of the police in forensics and criminal investigations. These training sessions benefit from technical support from the OSCE, as well as study trips to Europe to allow investigators to study new techniques.
In order to help the Kyrgyz police in the reform process, the OSCE is assisting police managers with training in human resource management and related modern techniques.
The OSCE programme is enhancing the Police Academy by providing support in establishing two development centres, one for professional development and one for human rights. The OSCE is further supporting the Academy by sponsoring training sessions on human rights for officers throughout Kyrgyzstan.
The OSCE, in co-ordination with the Ministry of Interior, has established two emergency call centres, one in Bishkek and one in Osh. These call centres ensure the general public can contact the police in emergency situations. The OSCE continues to support these centres through technical support and further training.
The OSCE has organized training and support for police in public order management, which enables the Kyrgyz police to deal with public order in a safe and professional manner. The training focuses not only on the safety of the public and the police, but also on maintaining human rights.