Prishtinë, 7 February 2013 - “Get to Know your Police Officer”, is the moto of three months campaign organized by Forum for Civic Initiative (FIQ) supported by Kosovo Police .The intention of this campaign is to directly serve the information to citizens as it is known by the police officer in your community. This presents a new philosophy of policing. This methodology strives to connect the citizens with the police as much as possible, so that citizens could know where they can raise their issues not only when they face offenses but also to contribute in preventing them.
In May 2012 the Kosovo Police started the implementation of the “Community Policing” Strategy, whereby the division in a sectors allows for every settlement to belong to a sector with police officers working only in that area. These police officers have continuous and direct communication with citizens, where they can freely report different cases that can cause insecurity in their community. This kind of police work contributes in building the trust between the citizens and police, enhances safety and facilitates policing work.
FIQ and Kosovo Police in December 2012 initiated the campaign Get to Know your Police Officer where the activities and debates with citizens were held in Prishtinë, Suharekë, Kaçanik, Viti, Drenas, Rahovec and Shtërpcë. Information leaflets were distributed to the citizens explaining the concept of community policing and providing free of charge telephone numbers in order for the citizens to know where they can address to.
School authorities and local communities are chiefly satisfied with the work of Police, and they were also acquainted with the concept of community policing as well as with police officer working in this sector. It was noted that citizens were not so informed on the concept or with the police officer working in this department.
Besides distribution of the leaflets in some municipalities also the meetings with the representatives of the neighborhoods and villages were held, whereby the discussion on their current problems was carried out.
One of the main problems in this discussion appears to be the lack of trust of the citizens to report the cases or to testify; also very slow and late intervention by the police very often is highlighted to be an issue of concern. A problem that was discussed in almost every meeting with village representatives was the frequent change of police officers working in this sector. As a solution to this problem it was indicated that a telephone number belonging to the sector should exist irrespective of the police officer changes that may take place, or new police officers to advise all village and neighborhood representatives on their relevant changes.