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Enhancing Women’s role in Security and Justice: EUPOL COPPS Head of Mission meets Palestinian Minister for Women’s Affairs

Enhancing Women’s role in Security and Justice: EUPOL COPPS Head of Mission meets Palestinian Minister for Women’s Affairs

They both started their assignment as leaders on 1 April this year, however this is not the only thing Palestinian Minister of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), Mona Khalil, and EUPOL COPPS Head of Mission (HoM), Karin Limdal, have in common. Within the respective lines of work, when it comes to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, these two women, who met for the first time in Ramallah, on 10 July, do mean business, and hands on. During the meeting, the Palestinian Minister made EUPOL COPPS’ HoM aware that she is familiar with the Mission’s activities, expressing appreciation for the work done - and in the making - for enhancing women’s role and career advancement in the security and justice sectors. Minister Khalil expressed willingness to cooperate with EUPOL COPPS, not least, in the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, sharing about plans to promote quotas for women in decision-making positions, including within the justice sector and the police. Among other topics of discussion, the review and the harmonisation of legislation, including in relation to international laws and conventions, newly proposed legislation, for example on combatting human trafficking, women’s political participation and awareness raising, including on legal aid for women. The Minister also touched upon the impact of the current circumstances on women and children and the related existing coordination with NGOs active all over Palestine. In expressing the Mission’s willingness to increase cooperation with MoWA, HoM Limdal underlined the importance of the family protection law, of increasing women participation in the security sector, and the related support from men in leadership positions towards women’s professional networks. Minister Khalil defined MoWA as a “cross-cutting” ministry, explaining about its close cooperation with other ministries including labor, health, economy, education, and interior. EUPOL COPPS Gender advisor also joined the meeting, as similarly, Gender (and also Human Rights) domains are cross cutting issues in the Mission’s activities, as these refer to values inspiring EU Crisis Management Mission’s actions as a whole.

Enabling Palestinian Police’s Safe and Secure Information Exchanges 

Enabling Palestinian Police’s Safe and Secure Information Exchanges 

Secure and correct handling of data is increasingly important to effective, modern policing. Criminal investigators can build evidence-based cases for submission to relevant justice institutions by using centralised data collection systems. For such a process to take place in a correct way, officers have to be able to rely on a safe and secure information exchange. This is the case in Palestine, like in Europe. This process is important not only to ensure that sensitive information does not fall into the wrong hands, but also for the safeguard of Human Rights and Gender related sensitive information.  To support the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) safe and secure information exchanges, EUPOL COPPS handed over technical items, including tablets where software to access to the Police Data base remotely is to be installed, in Ramallah, on 09 June.   The tablets are particularly useful for the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the PCP for accurate reporting based on collection of information, photos, and other evidence, to be stored in a safe, secured and appropriate manner.  This is important especially when working in the field and/or on the move.   Prior to this hand-over the PCP used obsolete tablets.  “These items are essential for our work, so far, we were lacking remote access to data from the field. Furthermore, the items are marked with the insignia of the PCP that help us in all kinds of circumstance,” said Head the of Information and Communications Technology, Brigadier Suliman AL Khatib.  To compensate for the lack of equipment prior to EUPOL COPPS hand-over, Palestinian police staff used also personal mobile phones in the absence of other items, which poses concerns. Now, with the availability of appropriate equipment, General Data Protection, regulations related to Human Rights, such as protection of personal data, obligations, procedures and measures that ensure constitutional compliance, and justification of interference with privacy, dignity, and secrecy of personal data in the processing of personal data, can better be applied.   

Why Police engagement on environmental issues makes sense. In Palestine as elsewhere

Why Police engagement on environmental issues makes sense. In Palestine as elsewhere

“Why is the environment an important topic, even in the current dire circumstances?” asks EUPOL COPPS Environmental expert to a group of Palestinian police officers first responders also to environmental crimes from the Ubeidiya police station, in the Bethlehem district on 2 July. Hands raise, answers follow, in turn: “Nature is part of us, is part of Palestine;” “in cases of crimes related to the environment people come to us, we are the first responders;” “it is our responsibility to protect nature within the law.” The lecture/training of EUPOL COPPS environmental expert, a police advisor herself, has not even started, but the engagement in the room is palpable, as discussions among officers on the reasons why environmental crimes, and the environment in general, is a topic of relevance in Palestine like elsewhere, take place from minute one. Broadly, environmental crimes can affect people’s lives, wellbeing, and their future. As EUPOL COPPS environmental expert stresses during the training session, protection and security of citizens and personal safety and security are very much related to environmental crimes/issues. Besides the tragic current and long-term circumstances, Palestine is facing a range of climate and environmental risks which directly affect human security. The importance of protecting natural and cultural resources, and environmental crimes are the main topics of EUPOL COPPS lecture in Ubeidiya. Related crimes including corruption, money laundering, narcotics, and illegal/counterfeit productions are also addressed, with display of imagery and real-life examples, allowing for exchanges and lively discussions among the participants and the trainer. The labelling of hazardous chemicals or waste and personal protection when on patrol in relation to environmental or chemical related hazard are other hot topics discussed in the room. Fares, a 32-year-old Palestinian experienced police officer who studied International Law abroad, stresses how important it is for him and his colleagues to go through all the symbols showed during the lecture and having the opportunity to ask questions, as situation of danger do not go away in this particularly current difficult times, but is in fact quite the opposite. When asked if any other final question, one of the officer’s answers is: “we need more of this, and to go deeper into the topic.” As stated in United Nations resolutions on the Environment, armed conflicts lead, directly and indirectly, to environmental degradation. During war environmental pollution as health hazard, the destruction of forests, the poisoning of soils and the devastation of various animal species, have a direct and devastating impact on the population. Palestine makes no exception, as the existence of a resolute, dedicated police unit demonstrates. Within the framework of its mandate. EUPOL COPPS is committed to support Palestinian police colleagues in tackling environmental crime, analysing disaster risks, and any needed related action.

Hands-on tips for Palestinian Police officers on Information-led Policing

Hands-on tips for Palestinian Police officers on Information-led Policing

Valuable information is crucial for effective law enforcement. Police work rely heavily on Information Led-Policing (ILP) to collect and analyse data and ultimately render justice. This week, EUPOL COPPS Information Led Policing (ILP) advisors delivered a third and final session of a three-part series of training to the Department of Information of the Palestinian Civil Police.    The six Palestinian police officers joining the training worked on the review of the information cycle, the different types of criminal analysis and some case study.  Previous sessions of this series included training on investigative gaps, how to work with investigators to narrow or fill those gaps, report writing, and a presentation from the Department of Information (DoI) analysts on their work on an ongoing robbery investigation.  The sessions were interactive, with a free and open exchange of information and experiences between the ILP advisors and the DoI analysts, to learn from one another about common challenges and experiences of policing. “During these sessions, we emphasised that a collaborative approach, combined with information sharing, police accountability coupled with intelligence operations are key elements in solving cases,” said one of the Mission’s Intelligence Led Policing advisers who delivered the trainings, together with his Cyber Crime Expert colleague.

Meet our Advisers

Meet our Senior Police Adviser - General Policing

Meet our Senior Police Adviser - General Policing

PPIO is pleased to introduce the next Advisor in our ‘Meet our Advisors’ section. Christian is a German colleague, very soft spoken and kind, and we are very much in awe of his years of experience and interesting expertise as a Police Officer.   1. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise)    My name is Christian, I am a police officer from Duesseldorf in Northrine-Westfalia in the western part of Germany and can look back on a 30-year career. I have spent more than ten years in various (leadership) positions in the riot police and I served several years in a permanent service unit that supported the Chief of Police in large operations. Since 2017 I have been a senior police officer and have held different positions in crime fighting/prevention, operations and project management. I introduced the distance electro impulse device, also known as Taser, in my (last) Headquarter, and developed regulations as to how to use it.   2.  Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS   I have been a EUPOL COPPS Mission Member since August 2023. I am a Senior Police Adviser in the area of General Policing. In this position, there is no unit that I look after exclusively. Conversely, I support my direct superior in areas where there is a need. Before the 7 October, it was the Bethlehem Project, while currently I am responsible for Crowd Management and Information Led Policing.    3.  What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region?    Due to the current situation, it is not easy to respond to this question in the manner it deserves. From a personal perspective, I like the flexibility in my position and that I can get to know different portfolios and counterparts. The people are very friendly, hearty and hospitable. In a way, people are more relaxed and take life easier. In Germany we have so many rules and sometimes we make it difficult for ourselves. I experience that difference here in a positive way.   This region is so rich in history, I am grateful to be able to work in a CSDP Mission here. I understand the Middle East conflict more and more because I live and serve here. I get my knowledge and understanding of the conflict from the different people I talk to, who tell me their experiences and impressions. And not just from the media like many others who don't have the chance to be here on the ground. Of course, the events since 7 October have been dramatic and many people are suffering. That also has an impact on my daily work and feelings.    4. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome?    I think the situation was already challenging before the eruption of the current crisis, but now it has become even more so. Despite the challenges and the evolving situation, which we cannot influence, we as EUPOL COPPS have remained on the ground the whole time. We are aware of our responsibility and, even in this difficult situation, I think it is important to show the PCP and our partners that we are there. We are not leaving our counterparts alone and continue to offer our support. In particular for the day after the war.  The situation is also challenging for all of us advisers. At first our families just missed us after we have been deployed. Now they are very worried about the security situation. We see our counterparts and our local colleagues suffering. Many other people are suffering. I think it's important to strengthen your own resilience. We talk a lot about the situation and I experience a high level of mutual support. Despite all the tragedy, that is the positive side.    PPIO: Christian, many thanks for granting us the interview. It is a pleasure for us to get to know you further!  

Meet our Head of Security Sector Reform Section

Meet our Head of Security Sector Reform Section

 Despite the turbulent times here in the Mission Area and beyond, EUPOL COPPS very recently welcomed our new Head of SSRS (Security Sector Reform Section). Our Finnish colleague Kai joined us from Finland. Kai has served in the region before, also within EUPOL COPPS, and as a Mission, we are very fortunate to have him back in our midst. PPIO spent some time with Kai to get to know him a bit better, and we would like our audience to get to know him too. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) I come from Finland. I am a serving police officer with over 33 years of professional experience of which 17 years in senior management level. My current job is in the National Police Board which is the supreme command of Finnish police. My special responsibilities are the strategic management of national K9 activities, national procurement and budgeting of protective gear and weaponry and Nordic countries uniformed policing co-operation. I’m also one of the supreme command national duty officers.   My background contains experience from almost all aspects of policing: uniformed policing, criminal investigations, technical surveillance, immigration and weapons administration, all in both operational and supervisory positions. I have worked as a teacher in the Police College of Finland teaching operational leadership and management. I have also worked as a head of drug investigations department of the Finnish Customs. On an international perspective I have lived away from Finland for some time of my life. As a child I lived in Australia for five years, one year in Saudi Arabia and two years in Iraq. After that I spent one year in the USA as an exchange student. As an adult I have spent one year in South Lebanon in the UN peacekeeping mission. In 2011-2012 I was seconded to the USSC Ramallah -mission as a senior police advisor with the responsibility of assessing and validating the Intermediate Leaders Course for the PA security forces. And my latest secondment here was 2016-2017 when I was the senior police advisor for community policing. So in a way my current post as the Head of SSRS seems to be a logic continuation. My expertise is widespread and I have a good understanding on almost all aspects of policing as well as their interconnectivity and dependence. I have management and leadership skills of both police and civilian personnel. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS My post within EUPOL COPPPS is the Head of Security Sector Reform Section (SSRS). The job description contains the leadership and management of the section as well as providing expertise in the issues needed. Within SSRS, I am very fortunate to have an excellent team of Police Advisors coming from all sectors of expertise. What do you enjoy most about working in the Region, given that this is not your first experience here? The people are very friendly and hospitable and easy to talk to. For a Finn (we are mostly regarded as mute) this is very refreshing and on the other hand also slightly intimidating! I am intrigued by the history and complexity of the region. The historical sites all around the region tell stories of different times and reigns. I see them as monuments of the rise and fall of eras. I also think that the landscape is one of the most beautiful in the world, in all of its ruggedness and with all its different features from the northern mountains to the rolling hills towards the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean seashore and deserts towards the Gulf of Aqaba. What are the challenges you anticipate facing, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? I think we are witnessing the greatest challenge in EUPOL COPPS history at the moment. The situation has dramatically and sadly taken a horrendous turn in the past days and weeks. Despite the challenges, we as a Mission continue to implement our mandate with our counterparts, notwithstanding the trying times we find ourselves in. It comes as no surprise that the focus of our counterparts is very much on the current situation. However, life needs to continue and it is clear that most of the people want stability and safety in life. I believe that EUPOL COPPS, together with our counterparts are making a grand effort in making this possible. How will this challenge be overcome is a million dollar question… I believe we need to “keep on keeping on” and try to think about the “day after”. When this is over the time will come for reconciliation and stabilisation. In my perspective we play an important role. Every individual EUPOL COPPS family member has her/his part to play in supporting the communities and people. PPIO: Kai, thank you very much for granting us this interview! It is indeed a pleasure to welcome you back to EUPOL COPPS. Within the PPIO Team, we are proud to work alongside you and the SSRS Team, and sincerely look forward to building upon our excellent collaboration.  

Meet our Deputy Head of Mission and Chief of staff

Meet our Deputy Head of Mission and Chief of staff

 Against a sad and concerning backdrop, and its ensuing challenges, we are thrilled to introduce our new Deputy Head of Mission and Chief of Staff, Karin Limdal. Hailing from Sweden, Karin is a CSDP expert and recently commenced her second tour of duty here at EUPOL COPPS. PPIO sat down with Karin to get to know her further. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) I’m a Swedish secondee with a husband and son currently based in Rome but with my heart and home in Verona. I’m passionate about civilian CSDP as an important tool in the EU Foreign Policy toolbox, to increase our own security within the EU but also among our partners. I’ve worked in different capacities in several CSDP and non-CSDP missions, in the EEAS and at the European Centre of Excellence for Civilian Crisis Management for the past 20 years. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS As the DHoM/Chief of Staff it is my job to make sure to “oil the machinery” so that the Mission can deliver on the mandate given by the EU 27. In that, and while supporting and deputizing the HoM, I will make sure that proper procedures and processes are in place and to promote a conducive working environment among other things. What do you enjoy most about working in the Region, given that this is not your first experience here? The hospitality of the Palestinian people. As crazy as they are behind the wheel, they are exceptionally friendly and helpful to their guests. We are truly fortunate to work with counterparts with whom we enjoy a relationship of trust.    What are the challenges you anticipate facing, and how, in your view, may they be overcome?  To insert enthusiasm and energy among colleagues after almost 17 years on the ground, in a worsening security situation, not least in recent weeks. This can partly be overcome by giving people space and independence and show them that you trust them. This makes people grow and shine in my opinion.  Freedom under responsibility is something that I try to live by as a manager, until proven otherwise. Another challenge is to maintain EUPOL COPPS as a relevant and unique partner among many other actors within the Security Sector Reform and Justice sectors. There the Mission needs to focus on what is really their strength of a physical presence on the ground since 2006 with the proper peer to peer support where our experts work side by side with the counterparts on the Palestinian side. No other international entity or project can offer the same sort of support and assistance in that sense. PPIO: Karin, thank you so much for taking the time to carry out this interview. Even in the short and somewhat tumultuous time that you’ve been in the Mission, the enthusiasm of having you back is very hard to miss! We are very much looking forward to working with you, and you can be assured of our support.

Meet our Senior Police Adviser -Institutional Development - Human Resources

Meet our Senior Police Adviser -Institutional Development - Human Resources

 In our interviews so far, we’ve encountered a number of EU colleagues, as well as a Turkish colleague. Nevertheless, here at EUPOL COPPS, we are also fortunate to have two Canadian colleagues forming part of our Security Sector Reform Section (formerly named the Police Advisory Section); Canada being one of the three Third Contributing Countries to EUPOL COPPS. Our dear colleague Shelly has been with us for over a year. Always ready with a helping hand, our counterparts not only benefit from Shelly’s long years of experience and expertise, but also her kind and soft spoken approach.    Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise)  Thank you for this opportunity.  I have over 35 years of policing experience with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s National Police Service and 5 years’ experience as a Vancouver City Police Reservist.  As a result, I have been afforded many opportunities that have provided me with a diverse background of experience, ranging from serving in  Indigenous/Diverse communities, at Municipal, Provincial and National levels and at various ranks.  This has provided me with comprehensive experience in multiple fields of expertise.  I have worked at the strategic, tactical and operational levels throughout my career and have been afforded the experience to develop and work with strategic frameworks at Provincial/Federal government levels in Canada.  I have a comprehensive back ground in a variety of specialties in policing:  General Duty Policing, Crime Scene Analysis, Community Policing, Crime Prevention/Crime Reduction, to name a few.  All from operational, tactical,  philosophical and strategic perspectives; as well as extensive knowledge of Police Administration, Conduct and Human Resources practices and procedures. At a Federal level in Canada, I was seconded to the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-status Rights (now Indigenous and Northern Affairs). I worked on and participated in the development of multi-jurisdictional social programs for Indigenous peoples at both the Federal and Provincial levels. Cultivating and fostering strategic long term partnerships was a critical component of achieving success. Prior to arriving in Mission, I was the acting Criminal Operations Officer in New Brunswick. In this role I was responsible for all operational, tactical and police operations responses in the RCMP jurisdictions of New Brunswick, including Gold Commander (Critical Incident Command) during a national incident. My substantive position was the Officer in Charge of the RCMP North-East District in New Brunswick. There, I was responsible for the operational and administrative policing functions for one third of the Province. I had a team of 181 employees.  My area of responsibility consisted of 10 detachments, 5 Indigenous communities, approximately 99 communities/villages, with a land radius of approximately 20,000 square miles. I have a Masters in Consitutional Law and Certficate in Human Rights law.   Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS  During my nearly year and a half in Mission, I have been holding the following portfolios: Institutional Development - Human Resources In this portfolio, I have been actively working with my counterpart on the development of individual performance assessments.  This project is being piloted in Jenin and Bethlehem, and will train unit leaders on supervision and performance indicaters of their team members. Accountability The project in this portfolio started with a baseline study of public complaints and was done in conjunction with my counterpart in the Grievance and Human Rights‘ Department.  The project is in phase 4 of  7 phases.  Field visits to police detention/holding cells have also been conducted to look at their processes.   The Palestinian Police Women’s Network I was honoured to be part of the original organizing group for the conference held in May 2022, and since that time I have been the portfolio lead, assisting the 25 founding members to develop their Terms of Reference, elect their Board Members and assist with their official launch in January 2023.  To date they have organized their application processes, logo and communication, whilst work is continuing on their annual plan.   What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome?  At times I found it difficult when other international stakeholders are working on same or similar projects and there was no communication or coordination. This has been overcome by cultivating and fostering relationships/partnerships, along with increased communication.     What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region?  I most enjoy the people here, my counterparts in the region, as well as my colleagues from around the world who join me here in the Mission.   The Region is filled with so much history, that prior to arriving here, it was a bit of a mystery to me; however now seeing and hearing from the people here, as well as forging what I believe will be long lasting frienships, the history and culture have come alive for me. It truly is an honour to be here working alongside my colleagues and with our counterparts.        

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