Safety of citizens: a top priority for EUAM in the Odesa regionAugust 04, 2021
Last week, the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM)’s Head of Operations, Udo Moeller, visited the city of Odesa to see on the ground how the Field Office is implementing the joint projects with Ukrainian partners.
140 officers from Special Police Units successfully graduated training in Odesa University of Internal Affairs delivered by EUAM’s Public Order Specialized Team. As part of the PRAVO Police project, these eight experienced trainers arrived from Spain’s Guardia Civil in Ukraine in early May. Since then they delivered training for the public order units of the National Police of Ukraine (NPU). Eventually, international experts will train 490 police officers in different regions of Ukraine.
“We developed this training according to the new Ukrainian Public order Concept, adopted in 2018 and with best European practices, human rights standards, gender perspective and democratic principles”, said Mr Moeller. “I truly believe that the training was intense and challenging. At the same time, we believe that it was an excellent opportunity to improve yourselves professionally by constantly applying new techniques, tactics and the de-escalating principles”.
The COVID-19 pandemic left many gaps and hopes that things will go back to normal as soon as possible. Apart from that, the touristic season in Odesa is at its peak posting new challenges for local law enforcement agencies.
Accompanied by members of the civil society, Mr Moeller visited two police stations to understand the concerns and challenges of the police officers. With the number of people increasing by 2.5 times during the touristic season, the crime record also raised in the Odesa region. That is why NPU Odesa developed a concept that is now considered in other regions of Ukraine.
According to Oleksandr Gostishchev, Head of Patrol police of the Odesa region, 15 traffic accidents occur each hour in the summertime in Odesa. The Patrol Police advise those involved in minor traffic accidents to fill in a euro protocol and provide assistance to drivers over a phone. Now, law enforcers plan a pilot project, which foresees the creation of a police call centre. It will provide step by step guidance and support with euro protocols.
Over the last three years, the National Police of Ukraine (NPU) provided security for tourists in the Odesa region. EUAM is ready to support the agency with advisory assistance and a joint workshop with the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU) on public order management, following EU best practices.
First Deputy of the Southern Territorial Unit of the NGU, Viktor Dudko, briefed EUAM about the tasks and responsibilities in their operations, covering four regions: Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. NGU deploys 830 officers daily for public order management: 260 independent patrols (without police), 24 vehicle patrols, 19 patrols with service dogs.
EUAM Head of Operations also met with the civil society of Odesa to present and discuss the Mission’s priorities and plans to be implemented during the new mandate. Among others, EUAM seeks to bring together law enforcement agencies and civil society to discuss security concerns in the communities and develop a cooperation mechanism where every side is equal. At the same time, the activists noted that the current practices show a lack of practical cooperation between the law enforcement agencies and communities.