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Human rights defenders of Cherkasy Oblast care about the safety of communities

Cherkasy Human Rights Protection Center, UHHRU representative in the region, organized a roundtable discussion concerning the effectiveness of the law enforcement bodies. The Regional State Administration hosted the roundtable.

The police reform not only has not led to increased security at the local level but also has greatly reduced the sense of security and trust of citizens to the police.

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One can confidently talk about that by results of the roundtable in the Cherkasy Regional State Administration, organized by the Cherkasy Human Rights Protection Center.

Analyzing the police in the districts of Cherkasy Oblast and studying the opinion of the local population, human rights defenders concluded that effectiveness of law enforcement is low, the population does not feel fully safe and has no full confidence in law enforcement. The work of local authorities (Lysiansk and Zvenyhorod districts) in terms of assistance to law enforcement is almost undone.

According to Valerii Liutyi, Head of the National Police of Ukraine, “ For the National Police, it is difficult to perform their duties due of lack of personnel, lack of funds and support from local authorities.”

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Also, his words are confirmed by statistics. In most districts of Cherkasy Oblast, only 2-3 district police officers in one area, who has the responsibility of carrying out work on crime prevention and responding to commitment of crimes. However, the district police units have only three cars (on average) per a district.

ATO participants, who were present at the round table, expressed their opinion – the level of police work in the districts is low, very often, the police respond to calls very late, crimes investigations are carried out ineffectively, there is almost no cooperation between ATO participants, on the example of Lysiansk and Zvenyhorod districts.

In conclusion, we can say that the reform of the National Police is carried out inefficiently in terms of its implementation at the local level, people do not feel safe and do not trust the police.

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Human rights defenders at the round table suggested present options out of this situation and to improve security in the community.

This is primarily active cooperation of local governments, communities and ATO members with the police on the issue of police efficiency and overall safety for people in the community. Human rights activists have proposed to introduce a program with the assistance of the local government to install security systems (video surveillance systems in towns) and district training assistants from among the participants ATO to implement prevention activities and assist in the district police in rural areas.

According to human rights defender Taras Shcherbatyuk, “Only effective cooperation between all parties of the process may help achieving the appropriate level of security for communities. All parties should exert maximum effort for this and establish effective communication with each other

After the roundtable, parties agreed on cooperation in the areas of:

– implementation of local level programs to improve interaction between communities and the police;

– carrying out work with local authorities on the introduction of public assistants to the police and involving them in preventive activities by ATO;

– carrying out work with local authorities to allocate resources to assist police work;

– carrying out audits of district police units by of the Main Department of the National Police in Cherkasy Oblast and correcting deficiencies.

The project “Strengthening the capacity of communities in Cherkasy and Kherson Oblasts to influence the police in order to implement and accelerate the reform of law enforcement” is implemented with financial support of the Embassy of the Netherlands under the Matra Program.

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