Scottish Cops to help Malawi prepare for 2014 tripartite elections

Three Scottish police, among them one officer who served for 17 years in Northern Ireland, will travel to Malawi to share their expertise on riot training and public disorder ahead of the 2014 tripartite elections.

The three officers, according to UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, travel to Malawi to share their expertise on tackling public disorder as part of a British government-sponsored programme.

The officers from Police Scotland will head up part of the Malawi Policing Improvement Programme (MPIP), backed by the Department for International Development (DFID), to enable the police in Malawi to better address public order issues after riots in 2011 saw 20 people shot dead, according to a Press statement posted by PR Newswire.

Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said in the statement that security has a major role to play in Malawi’s much-needed economic recovery, and the Malawi Police Service plays a vital part in this.

Malawi Police to horn anti-roting skills from Scottish cops
Malawi Police to horn anti-roting skills from Scottish cops

Greening also said ordinary people need to be confident that their police force is working in their interest.

“The team of Scottish officers travelling to Malawi have decades of experience in tackling public order issues in the UK and abroad. They will share their skills and expertise to enable the Malawi Police to improve its response, reputation and relationship with the local community.

“By ensuring a police service that is professional and accountable, the UK will help to reduce human rights violations in Malawi and save substantial amounts of money lost to crime and corruption,” reads the statement.

The Police Improvement Programme was initiated following a review of policing methods in Malawi after the deaths of 20 people during widespread public unrest in July 2011. This exposed serious capacity problems in the Malawi Police Service and a lack of specialised operational planning and public order management skills amongst police officers.

The DFID-backed programme will involve training at least 300 Malawian officers in public order management, and will improve their response to crime and insecurity as well as their ability to tackle public disorder.

Training will include: command and leadership support; public order exercises; basic forward intelligence gathering; planning for community events such as football matches; managing protest and teaching new trainers.

It will enable the Malawi police to build trust with local communities and prevent violence before it starts.

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