An all-embracing visit with extensive output

August 19, 2015

In meeting the Kharkiv Police, the EUAM faced the reality of police work in Ukraine and learned about challenges of the reform in the Prosecutors’ office. 

In an initial successful attempt to enhance the regional outreach capacity of the European Union Advisory Mission, Head of Mission Kalman Mizsei on August 18 met with the Regional Police and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Kharkiv.

Head of the Kharkiv regional police, Olexandr Dmitriev, openly admitted that neither he nor his 12.000 colleagues were really ready for the new reality facing Kharkiv regional police during the violent riots that unfolded in April 2014, signaling the beginning of the conflict in Donbass. The police officers, while hunting subversive groups and adapting to the new situation, are also applying extra measures to provide public security. 

But at the same time they look towards the upcoming police reform with hesitation: 

“In the framework of the reform, there will be only 220 policemen available to provide service for 1000 people. With these numbers, it will be difficult to handle, for example, a big mass event or crowd on a square”, said Olexandr Dmitryev, sharing his concern that the new police reform will affect police resources in the future. “But don’t get me wrong, we are in the first line to support the police reform. We want to be appreciated by society, we don’t want to be pictured as enemies of the people”.

New tools for police work

Kharkiv police is now implementing the know-how system of crime mapping. It allows the police to assess the crime situation in the region and to solve cases online. The “logistic map” provides officers with a sense of real time situation in districts, allowing them to correct the routes of patrols and to manage police presence in certain areas. 

The system also provides citizens with online information of the current situation in the region and enable additional tools to collect information from witnesses of accidents. 

EUAM to support police reform

Despite the new tools and methods, the start of the reform and the implementation of the Law on National police is bringing up new challenges for Kharkiv officers. 

“It is not about the potential of the law enforcement bodies in Ukraine, it is all about the way they are managed. EUAM is ready to help you. It is obvious that our joint efforts can result in a success. The reforms should proceed with no risk of capacity limitation. They must enhance the anticorruption measures and the respect of human rights”, said Kalman Mizsei. 

“Our cooperation can be very practical. For example, we can share with you the EU practices in providing security for public events”, Head of Regional Outreach for EUAM, Udo Moller added.  

Reform of the Prosecutors Office

The EUAM visit to Kharkiv was later followed by a meeting with the Head of the Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office, Yuriy Danylchenko. He expressed concern over the new prosecution reform measures, such as merging 35 local prosecutor’s offices into 11 in the region.

“There will be just one prosecutor’s office for five areas; people will have to travel almost 100 kilometers just to get there. Additionally, it will dramatically increase the pressure and amount of work for the prosecutors”, said Yuriy Danylchenko. The EUAM delegation was also informed about the downsizing of the staff of the regional prosecutor’s office due to the reform (from 799 to 582 people).

Kalman Mizsei expressed Mission readiness to assist on arranging the open discussion over the reform issues on national level to establish a dialogue between Kiev and the regions. “We are deploying additional staff to the oblasts in order to scrutinize the civilian security sector situation in the light of European best practices and to identify gaps and successes that will be incorporated in the strategic advice delivered to the Ukrainian authorities,” he said.

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