Kabul, February 2013. 100 Afghan police past students of the EUPOL Crime Management College from 25 different Provinces have been interviewed to assess the impact of their training on their daily work, with promising results. Over 90 percent of the interviewed said the courses were relevant to their job and would recommend the training to others. The objective of the survey was to speak to the students some months after they had completed their courses, to allow time for them to put into practice what they had learned.
Kabul, February 2013. Each day, 3rd Sergeant Nadia Gul Alam, stands guard in the freezing cold at Kabul’s East Gate Checkpoint. A bus with women and children arrives. Nadia checks them thoroughly – this time, she finds nothing suspicious – no guns or bags with opium. Her job is dangerous at the checkpoint close to the highway to Wardak province, about 1,5 hours away from Kabul city. Nadia is one of the very few policewomen serving at this Ring of Steel checkpoint. Much more women like her are needed.
Kabul, February 2013. Traffic anarchy is one of the major problems in Afghanistan, especially in its capital Kabul with a population of over five millions citizens and a rising number of cars jamming the streets. Traffic lights are non-existent or not working, and pedestrians are often run over by cars whilst crossing the busy streets. 2172 traffic accidents have been registered in the past nine months, according to the Traffic Department of Afghanistan. 832 Afghans lost their lives in course, out of which 181 are children. To increase the safety of children, EUPOL is now financing a Road Safety Campaign for in 72 schools in Kabul and other eleven key provinces where EUPOL Afghanistan has or had presence before.
Kabul, February 2013.The Crime Management College will eventually get a new home. Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the European Union Delegation in Kabul and the Ministry of Interior to fund the establishment of the new College. It is expected to open its doors for students by September 2013.
Kabul, February 2013. Kick, the high heels of Malalai show no mercy; stand against the wall and spread arms and legs. Malalai obviously enjoys this show of power. Aahh, squirms her female colleague who is the subject in this body search exercise, as the sharp pointy shoe kicks her. Trainer Henrica van de Zande calmly repeats her instruction: “First talk, communicate”. She continues to explain patiently why communicating is so important. “If you don’t have the right communication, you can’t control and demand. The ability to communicate well, which includes proper expression, is one of the most important skills for a police officer.”
Mazar-e Sharif, February 2013. To practice making contact with the citizens while patrolling the streets was the purpose of the joint patrols of Afghan National Police and EUPOL mentors. These patrols in Mazar’s Police District 1 have underlined that the Afghan National Police in Mazar are able to facilitate Police-e Mardume (community policing). During these joint patrols, EUPOL members observed first-hand interactions with the public, elders as well as shopkeepers. The patrol team also visited schools and mosques as a part of their interactive police work.
Mazar-e Sharif, January 2013. Karl Åke Roghe, EUPOL Afghanistan Head of Mission (HoM), visited one of the most important EUPOL Field Offices (FO) of EUPOL, the Field Office in Mazar e Sharif. He and his delegation from EUPOL headquarters met with the Deputy Police Commander of the Afghan National Police in Mazar-e Sharif (MeS), Colonel Abdull Razaq, and the Governor of Balkh Province, Atta Mohammad Noor. They discussed developments in policing and Rule of Law and reflected on the past, present and future cooperation with high ranking Afghan Officials.
Kabul, January 2013. It was at the end of the seminar targeting investigation of violence against women when a key message was spoken: “Accepting oppression is participating in oppression,” said Colonel Ahmadyar, Deputy Head of the Criminal Investigation Department, Ministry of the Interior. He was one of many participants at the seminar held in mid-January and hosted by EUPOL’s Anti-Crime Family Response Unit (FRU).
Mazar-e Sharif, January 2013.“Please, do open this box and show me every single item!” requests the Afghan Border Police Officer behind the x-ray control. It looked like a real day at the airport, complete with passengers and airport security staff. But this day served as a test run for the security checks before the new Mazar International Airport (MeS IA) opens its door in spring this year.
Kabul, January 2013. In the end, EUPOL armored vehicles only drove a few kilometers back to their headquarters in Kabul, but their departure was heavy with symbolism as they marked the official handover of Kabul’s Ring of Steel to Afghan police forces. More than 250 Afghan policemen from the Ring of Steel lined up to EUPOL mentors and trainers and their Afghan police chiefs during a handover ceremony marked more by symbolism on a cold morning in January. The Ring of Steel is one of the projects handed over by EUPOL to the Afghan police in the first phase of a gradual transition process that will continue until 2014.