EUPOL COPPS Mission organized a field visit to Bethlehem District along with the Head of the Netherlands Representative Office
On the 20th of September 2023, EUPOL COPPS Mission organized a field visit to Bethlehem District along with the Head of the Netherlands Representative Office; Mr. Michel Rentenaar in Ramallah. During the visit, the delegation met with the Police District Commander of Bethlehem whereby, an explanation of the current status of Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) was given, daily challenges as well as opportunities that the EUPOL COPPS is offering in terms of improving the capacities in the context of the Bethlehem Pilot project. In July 2023, the mission launched a new Pilot Project in Bethlehem District. The aim of this project is to focus on further improving the PCP work conditions and skill in order to better support the Public. The delegation also visited the Bethlehem Police holding cells and the Bethlehem Correction and Rehabilitation Centre with the hope that the Dutch Government could consider providing funds to improve the situation in one or both facilities.
EUPOL COPPS and the Palestinian Civilian Police staged a joint Community Policing activity at Dheisheh Refugee Camp
Yesterday, EUPOL COPPS and the Palestinian Civilian Police (PCP) staged a joint Community Policing activity at Dheisheh Refugee Camp (RC) – Bethlehem. The ‘back to school’ activity was carried out at the UNRWA girl’s Primary School in Dheisheh, where approximately 150 girls and boys were addressed by the Bethlehem PCP Community Policing Mobile Police Station crew and EUPOL COPPS. Back to school items were handed out to the schoolchildren, and very gratefully received.. An important Community-Oriented Policing activity which has paved the way for more similar outreach in the near future in the framework of EUPOL COPPS support.
Palestinian police officers conclude specialized course on Data Driven-Policing
Earlier this week, employees of the Department of Information received their certificates following recently concluded training courses, the essence of which now enables them to provide better analysis. Meanwhile, a fruitful cooperation has started between the DoI and the CID. This cooperation means that they will work jointly on unsolved crimes. Further training is also foreseen in the coming months. Data driven policing is undoubtedly the future, and EUPOL COPPS stands ready to provide the necessary support in this regard.
EUPOL COPPS delivered a training on the subject of cryptocurrency
This week EUPOL COPPS delivered a training on the subject of cryptocurrency. 26 participants were in attendance, from different teams within the Palestinian Civil Police, including the cybercrime and financial-economic investigation departments. Cryptocurrencies play an ever-growing role in crime, and are often used as a method for money laundering. Apart from the fundamentals of the workings of virtual coins, methods of investigating and seizing cryptocurrencies were discussed. In a very interactive session, the theory of cryptocurrencies was applied to the Palestinian Territories crime situation. The head of the Cybercrime department expressed the wish to follow-up with more in-depth workshops regarding tracing cryptocurrency transactions.
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.
Meet our Planning and Policy Advisor
Seeing a colleague sporting a Turkish uniform in the corridors of an EU CSDP Mission is not an everyday sight. Nevertheless, with Turkey being one of the three Third Contributing Countries to EUPOL COPPS, we are fortunate to have our dear colleague Ozkan in our midst. Always with a ready smile, Ozkan’s friendly approach is never failing. Despite his years of experience, Ozkan’s humility makes him an asset within the Mission, and we are fortunate to call him a colleague and friend. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) My name is Ozkan Baran and I am a National Police Officer from Turkiye. My rank is 2nd Degree Police Chief Superintend or Police Colonel. I have been a member of the Police Advisory Section at EUPOL COPPS since June 2022, where I am the Police Adviser for Planning and Policy. Turkiye is one of the third contributing countries to this Mission, together with Norway and Canada. I have more than 26 years of policing experience, both at the national and international levels. I managed many administrative and judicial responsibilities back in my country. On the international scene, I have been posted within the United Nations Missions in Kosovo and in Haiti and the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and at the Turkish Embassy in Bangkok/Thailand. I have much experience on combating against human trafficking, drugs, illicit goods and weapons; armed robbery; counterfeit and money laundering and serious/organized/transborder crime investigations as well as planning and capacity building areas. I am currently the only Turkish Police Officer working in the mission area. I am very proud of being here in the Palestinian Territories and assisting the Palestinian Police both in their present responsibilities as well as in preparation for their future. Something that makes me very happy is the warm welcome of both our local counterparts as well as the Palestinian population, which certainly makes my work more pleasant. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS Within the Police Advisory Section, I am the Police Adviser for Planning and Policy. Essentially, this means that my role is to assist the Palestinian Police improve the safety and security of the Palestinian population, as well as to support the Palestinian Civil Police reform and development, not least by contributing to the PCP Strategic Plan for the coming years. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? I am very happy to be here and working with very professional Mission Members from EU Countries. Working with different colleagues hailing from varied cultural understanding and different working habits of law enforcement only serves to enrich my experience. The Mission is taking an important role to make the Palestinian Territories more stable and secure and also to improve the Institutions under Palestinian ownership. I am here to support them in assisting in the building of their institutions. Being part of this Mission is a great opportunity and I enjoy all my time working with my international colleagues and Palestinian counterparts, in addition to enjoying the close and warm relationship with the Palestinian citizens during our activities. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? I consider myself fortunate not to face many serious challenges during the daily execution of my responsibilities. Of course, being far from home and my family sometimes causes a degree of stress, as expected. However, the plus side is that, these days, long distance communication has definitely made our lives easier. A special thanks goes to my wife for always handling all kinds of challenges back home, in my absence. I would like to end by wishing all the very best to my local counterparts and Palestinian citizens, as well as a safe and secure return back home to all my international colleagues. PPIO: Ozkan, many thanks for taking the time to grant us this interview. Your positive approach and outlook are undoubtedly examples for all of us to follow!
Spotlight on our Translators
Since the inception of EUPOL COPPS in January 2006, interaction between the Mission’s Palestinian counterparts and international advisors who speak different languages and come from different cultures has been a fundamental part of the Mission’s work and a natural consequence of face-to-face communication. In its broad sense, the purpose of interpretation and translation is to facilitate communication, create bridges and aid others to cross linguistic and cultural boundaries. Undoubtedly, communication is central to the work of a translator. Inasmuch as without translators there can be no facilitation of communication, translators are not only a backbone of the Mission, but indispensable to its success. EUPOL COPPS employs a pool of eight qualified and experienced translators that do verbal interpreting, non-verbal translation and cultural communication in a multicultural milieu. Verbal interpreting is generally performed in two modes: consecutive and simultaneous. Consecutive interpreting usually takes place in formal meetings during which interpreters render what is said in the target language, English or Arabic. Simultaneous interpreting is performed in real time during workshops and conferences involving large audiences. Occasionally, Mission translators use background interpreting or chuchotage, which is one-to-one direct interpreting where the interpreter whispers the translation to a very small audience. In the context of the work of the Mission, non-verbal or written translation may include the translation of various texts such as police related documents, legal papers, laws, press releases, action plans, manuals and guidelines. The high level of concentration, accuracy and prompt response underpinning both verbal and non-verbal translation as well as the mental activities involved in the comprehension, deverbalisation and reformulation processes bring to the fore the challenges faces by our translators on a daily basis. In addition to the important role of translators as converters of messages from one language to another, they are of paramount importance to cross-cultural communication. As cultural mediators, EUPOL COPPS translators have both the linguistic and cultural competences to facilitate communication between international advisors and their local Palestinian interlocutors. Their familiarity with the cultures of the source and target languages is instrumental in bridging the cultural gap between international experts and their local counterparts. Lack of knowledge and understanding of other cultures may cause confusion, misunderstanding and sometimes offense during communication, hence missions prudently employ local translators to avoid or minimise potential for misunderstanding. Understanding the customs, manners and social traditions of communities where missions operate will enhance and optimise their work. In the case of EUPOL COPPS, such understanding indicates the respect of international mission members for the Palestinian community and their integration into the reality of Palestine. Indeed the interest of international mission members to learn the local language, Arabic, demonstrates their interest in the Palestinian community and its culture, and reflects cultural sensitivity and good breeding. Nonetheless, the cultural role of translators is not limited to bringing mainstream social cultures closer. Mission translators render effective communication in two other cultural domains, namely the police and the rule of law subcultures. Both policing and law are socio-cultural phenomena linked to the larger mainstream culture of the Palestinian community. Given the seriousness of the work of the police and the justice system, the translators of the Mission undertake assignments knowing full well that if the act of translating or interpreting is not carried out to a satisfactory and professional standard it could have grave and far-reaching consequences. Translation/interpretation is a communicative activity that signifies interchange between cultures. Such interchange takes place through the medium of language and it requires a human agency – or a translator. In the words of the British novelist Anthony Burgess, “Translation is not a matter of words only; it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.” PPIO Comment: The entire Mission is very grateful to have such a dedicated and professional team of translators on board. Your work is an essential part of the EUPOL COPPS engine, and I speak on behalf of all Mission Members in expressing our sincere thanks to you all for making our constant interactions with our local counterparts possible! Thank you!
Meet our Information Led Policing Senior Advisor
Simon Remillard, our Information Led Policing Senior Advisor, has held a number of thoroughly interesting portfolios during a career spanning more than 30 years! In addition to his vast career, Simon is exceptionally knowledgeable about a vast number of issues, including but not limited to languages, cultures, history, geography and political science to name but a few. Always ready with a friendly smile, it is with sincere regret that Simon is approaching his end of Mission shortly. Yet, as we say in Mission life, colleagues may come and go, but true friendships endure… Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) My name is Simon Remillard. I am Canadian, 55 years of age, and my studies include 3.5 years of Police College, and both a Bachelors + Masters in Administration. I possess over 30 years of policing including 2 months in Haiti, 1 year in Afghanistan, 1 year in Ukraine, and one year and (almost) three months here at EUPOL COPPS. I hail from Montreal city, which is the second largest city in Canada. I started my career with patrolling, then spent several years in the tactical team (SWAT), followed by investigations in a wide array of areas, including general, crime scene, narcotics, fraud; and I now supervise criminal investigations. I also have a strong focus on linguistic, historical and cultural studies. Other than English and French, in my career for work purposes I have studied the culture, history and language of Haitian Creole, Spanish, Russian and now Arabic. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS I work on ILP, Information Led Policing. This is essentially the police activities and behavior of collecting information from all sources and police actions; analyzing emerging, shifting or migratory criminality trends, and recommending to the Strategic level how to better allocate Police resources, to act earlier or better police responses and police services. The objective is to prevent, mitigate or stop such criminality trends. By way of example: Analysis can reveal that when the COVID pandemic struck, and all restaurants and bars closed for months, while there were nor increase, nor decrease of violent crimes, and previously 65% of violent crimes would occur between 11PM and 4 AM; the trend shifted and the bulk of violent crimes occurred between 8 PM and 01 AM. The theory and relation was made between the occurrence of violent crimes, and the opening hours of areas where alcohol was served. By plotting all violent crimes on the map, and where all restaurants/bars are located, it was confirmed that previous violent crime hotspot concentrations were mainly located close to bars. It was also confirmed that the violent crimes regions were migrating from where the bar areas were, to where the AirBnB apartments were concentrated, as they were being used to replace bars for parties. We could thus tell the Strategic level WHERE and WHEN to increase patrolling officers, and that when the National level would allow bars to reopen, to immediately shift patrolling resources from the AirBnB areas to the Bar areas, as we could anticipate the migration of violent crimes back to the hours and areas of where the alcohol sales would occur. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? There are many challenges, but none that cannot be overcome. The first is dissociating Modernisation from Westernisation. The Palestinian Civilian Police, our main counterpart, want to modernise to be more effective, whilst maintaining their unique Palestinian culture and heritage. In the words of Samuel Hungtington, political scientist, Modernising does not mean Westernising. Our modern policing techniques were historically built on Western culture and values. We must recognize what is modernity vs western, and seek to offer modern practices all while recognizing opportunities to respect Palestinian culture. An example is a Central command of policing and emergencies vs regional committees that manage areas/Districts. This latter can be considered a ‘clan’ approach, which can be a challenge to the Central approach. The Palestinian people must navigate these waters and decide what policing model they want, whilst we at EUPOL COPPS stand ready to support. The other challenge is time. (PPIO: we can all relate to this, Simon!) We wish we could assist the PCP in overhauling their practices overnight and give them all the best of what we can offer, but we often forget that neither Europe nor Canada did it overnight. Rome was not built in one day, and nor were any of our police forces. Montreal police has existed for 180 years, and the RCMP for 150 years. In my 30 years of policing, I have seen the evolution of my own police force (for the better), which means that after its initial 150 years of existence, there still was place for both modernization and improvement, and I have no doubt the Montreal police will continue striving to make itself better in the next 30 years to come, and beyond. We need to be patient, and not think that it should take the Palestinians 10 or 20 years. Cultural values, practices and technology will always evolve, and so should the notion of Good Governance in all its efforts. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? Firstly, the execution of the mandate of EUPOL COPPS is very important to local and regional peace, and global stability. In all the countries I have visited or worked in, it is common in our culture to be good citizens by helping our neighbours. I see this as an extension of this philosophy. When other regions of the World need help, it is relevant to try and help when we can. Secondly, this region is so rich in Humanities History, it is fascinating to see such ancient traditions and cultures, historical sights side by side with modern technology and global integration. This loops back to the previous comment. What used to be a neighbor has evolved in time. Today, due to globalisation and integration, we are all neighbors, including Canada who is a big EU partner, and who has both Israeli and Palestinian citizens back home. While my individual help might be one grain of sand in the bucket, I am glad to be a partner of both Palestinian people abroad, and Palestinians who now call Canada or Europe home. Simon, it has been an absolute pleasure working with you during your tenure at the Mission, and we sincerely wish you all the best in the next chapters of life. Know that you’ll be very fondly remembered here at EUPOL COPPS.