Countering violent extremism through strengthening community-police and community-security force relations: CPAU facilitated an inspiring speaker session on the subject in Farah Province

As part of its initiative for countering violent extremism, CPAU organized a major conference in Farah Province on the topic of ‘Strengthening Community-Police and Community-Security Force Relations for CVE’ held on March 23-24, 2016. Speakers with various personal and professional backgrounds, such as national and overseas scholars, government officials, local police forces and civil society activists, contributed to the event and allowed for fruitful discussions and knowledge exchange.

Strengthening community-police and community-security force relations are based on community-oriented policing and the building of local capacities and resilience in countering violent extremism (CVE) for preventing the spread of violent extremist ideologies. Therefore, an effective local law enforcement system needs to be in place which can eliminate discrimination and maintain social justice.

During the event it has been agreed on that the police and security forces of Afghanistan have the responsibility to fight against extremists. However, some obstacles have been identified i.e. problems within police institutions such as drug abuse, bias, and a lack of education and training. Only an educated, well-trained and honest police force can effectively counter violent extremism which also implies that the recruitment process is free of all kinds of ethnic, language and sectarian racism. Many speakers have emphasized that there is currently a gap between the government, including police and security forces, and the people, due to a lack of trust and confidence in police forces.As a result, it has become clear that the community and the police have to work together to create good relationships and to establish trust. Only by collaborating and by supporting each other can the police forces bring security to all areas. An important outcome of the event was also the understanding that the number of female police forces should be increased which will be beneficial to create community support and trust.