Police trainers from 11 OSCE participating States completed a three-day specialized police training programme on recognizing, understanding and investigating hate crimes, organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Association of European Police Colleges (AEPC) from 10 to 12 April 2013.
The instruction was provided at the AEPC training faculty in France as part of ODIHR’s Training against Hate Crime for Law Enforcement (TAHCLE) programme, which is one element of the Office's continued assistance to OSCE participating States in their efforts to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies in combating hate crime.
“Hate crimes are often 'symbolic crimes,' and the police are in the best position to send a zero-tolerance message against these acts,” said Floriane Hohenberg, the Head of ODIHR’s Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department.
The course was attended by trainers from police colleges in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom. During the course, they participated in exercises on exploring diversity within their own communities and evaluated case studies of responses to hate crimes by law enforcement officers.
Upon returning to their home countries, the trainers will incorporate the TAHCLE training manual into the work of their own police training facilities.
“It is important for police to address intolerance based on prejudice in our increasingly diverse and multicultural societies,” said Hélène Martini, AEPC President and Director of France’s École Nationale Supérieure de la Police, adding that the TAHCLE programme will be fully implemented at the French police college.
The training course at the AEPC training faculty in Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-D'or, near Lyon, follows a 2012 co-operation agreement between ODIHR and AEPC. AEPC is a network of 40 European police colleges that works to improve the training capacity of its members through staff exchange programmes and the sharing of good practices.