COPPS training supports safer demonstrations through improved planning

Palestinian Civilian Police (PCP) officers responsible for overseeing the police response to mass events such as demonstrations, sporting fixtures or riots were given a three-day training by EUPOL COPPS advisers in how to plan for such occasions at strategic and operational levels.

“Managing complex and critical events is part of the daily work of law enforcement agencies, but if they do not plan for them in the right way, the consequences can be tragic,” said Carlos Pereira, Senior Police Adviser for Special Police Forces at EUPOL COPPS. “Freedom of assembly is a human right. This is one of the many reasons it’s crucial for police forces to develop detailed operational planning concepts that support a framework for peaceful management of mass events, especially when several security forces may be involved in an operation, and their efforts must be coordinated”.

Several planning scenarios were given for the trainees to practice, including the visit of a famous foreign dignitary and a prison riot. The training also gave participants time to explore case studies from their own experiences, to analyse how they could have managed certain situations better.

A total of 18 PCP officers took part in the training, mostly from the Special Police Force (SPF), but also from the Correction and Rehabilitation Centers Department (CRCD) and from the Operations Room PCP Districts. Having a diversity of experiences to discuss was important to ensure that the training was multidisciplinary in nature and relevant to the day to day work of participants.