The Altus Global Alliance and its member organization in Nigeria, CLEEN Foundation announces the commencement of the Altus’ Annual Police Station Visitors’ Week (PSVW) 2013.
Altus, an alliance of 6 non-governmental organizations and academic centers in five continents, created in 2004 to promote safety and justice around the world from a multicultural perspective has since 2006 been carrying out the Altus Annual Police Station Visitors’ Week in different countries across the 5 continents. Together, these organizations offer a greater capacity to work across matters on issues of safety and justice and a larger role for the civil society in advancing justice from a multicultural perspective.
What PSVW is all about
The Altus Annual Police Station Visitors’ Week (PSVW) is an international program that is organized to facilitate local community groups visiting police stations and assessing the quality of services delivered by police departments, to identify best practices used by police and to strengthen the accountability of police to the local community.
The program relies on planned annual visits by community groups to their local police stations. They join with people around the world to visit and review their local police stations by using a simple assessment Tool Kit composed of 20 questions based in 5 indicator areas namely 1) Community Orientation, 2) Physical Condition, 3) Equal Treatment of the Public, 4) Transparency and Accountability, and 5) Detention Conditions.
The indicator areas are drawn from international laws and protocols on policing and human rights. By participating in the visits participants are overseeing and improving police services. The information they gather during the visits are uploaded on to an innovative web-based model which simultaneously generates as a database.
For many of the visitors especially those who are female, poor, or marginalized for other reasons the experience provides their first real access to local law enforcement and a platform for expressing their views about whether the police are serving all members of their community. The visitors use the PSVW Tool Kit to guide their visit, following protocols that are the same for visits around the world.
At the end of visits, police authorities receive a summary of the scores of the participating police stations, this would directly help the police enhance, modify or change the strategies of engagement and interaction with groups within the communities the police serve. The program does not seek to “shame and blame” any participating police department, but only provides score information to participating stations and visitors.
PSVW provides a unique platform for police departments to establish better relationships with their host communities by receiving valuable and difficult to obtain feedback from community members on where services lag, and how to improve the quality of services available. In the same vein, as part of a global program, visitors are able to place their individual judgments about the quality of police service at their own police stations in national, regional, and global contexts.
PSVW 2013 Edition
The 2013 edition of the PSVW is scheduled to take place from the 3rd – 9th November, 2013 in 22 countries across the globe. A total of 6 confirmed countries will be participating in the African continent. These are: Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Over 500 police stations are expected to participate across Africa.
For the 2013 visits, there will be increased participation of women, low income, religious, ethnic minority and other marginalized / vulnerable groups in the visits.
For more information, please contact Blessing Abiri (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit our website: http://www.cleen.org/; www.altus.org.