Vol. 5 Num 619 Fri. February 24, 2006  

Police Reform Project
Construction of five model police stations begins in April

Construction of five model police stations under UNDP-DFID-aided police reform project will start by April next.

Of them, two will be set up in Dhaka and two in Chittagong.

The much-talked-about project starts its operational activities throughout the country on completion of the groundwork.

Eleven model police stations will be established primarily to demonstrate how these can meet the needs and expectations of the people and benefit the community.

Personnel of the model police stations will be gender inclusive and trained to enhance their skill levels and prepare them for a more pro-people policing approach in their engagement with local community.

This was revealed at a daylong workshop titled 'Stakeholder Consultation Workshop' at a city hotel to detail the background of the project outlining its aim and objectives and workplans over the next three years.

Presenting a report at the workshop, Mohammad Mohsin, additional secretary to home ministry, said with a $14 million fund, the reform project will require a 9-10-year timeframe in three phases for its implementation.

The project has been designed to improve the efficiency of police by ensuring people's access to justice, promoting crime prevention, optimising human resource management and introducing public consultation and accountability, he added.

Quoting a recent BBC survey that showed police as the least trusted people amongst the poor, Richard Miles, senior advisor to DFID in Dhaka, said poor people's contact with local thana in difficult circumstances results in even more problems.

Speaking at the workshop as chief guest, State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar said, "By this programme, we expect to create a more efficient and more effective police force with improved skill in crime prevention, investigation of offences and prosecution of cases. We expect to create a safe, secure and peaceful environment which will be conducive to overall development of our country."

With Home Secretary Safar Raj Hossain in the chair, the workshop was also addressed by Larry Maramis, resident representative of UNDP in Dhaka, and Inspector General of Police Abdul Quayum as special guests.

National Project Co-ordinator AYBI Siddiqi delivered the welcome speech.

Later a technical session was held.

ASM Shahjahan, project advisor to UNDP, chaired the session where David Wolstenholme, a project implementation specialist, presented the keynote paper.