Palestinian police leaders learn how their Swedish colleagues connect with citizens

A group of six senior Palestinian police officers visited the cities of Stockholm and Malmö between 17 – 23 November to find out more about how the Swedish Police improved and standardised the quality of services provided to citizens and brought the police closer to the public through a comprehensive restructuring exercise.

“In 2015, the Swedish Police merged 22 separate policing authorities into one single institution, something which represented a huge organisational challenge,” said Barbara Kelly, Senior Police Adviser in Institutional Development and Human Resources at EUPOL COPPS. “We brought representatives of the Palestinian Civil Police to meet some of their Swedish counterparts, because Sweden has useful best practices to share in strategic planning and human resources management. These are very relevant for Palestinian law enforcement, particularly in light of their ambition to strengthen their own police services.”

Swedish police leaders testified to the challenges that they faced in changing the structure of the organisation, but noted that the changes have made their institution more professional, closer to meeting the expectations of citizens and more effective. This success was in good part the result of the amount of time that was put into planning the changes, keeping officers and civilian staff members informed throughout the restructuring and giving them opportunities to consult with their management about what the new structure meant for them.

The Swedish Police also showed a willingness to learn from and correct mistakes and were open with their Palestinian colleagues about the lessons they learnt during the process. With the support of EUPOL COPPS, Palestinian Civil Police leaders will now analyse how they can integrate Sweden’s experiences into their strategic planning and human resources management.