Af Ahmed Shovon, ungdomsaktivist fra Bangladesh
Han forbinder politiet i sit hjemland med korruption og brutalitet, men tror på, at bedre uddannelse og løn kan gøre en forskel. Noget der kræver flere penge i statskassen
“What word comes to your mind when you see the police?” Our day started with this question asked by Asmaa Abdol Hamid who is an advisor to the Funen Police for the dialogue for change program. This question instantly unearthed my perception about police and law and order system to them, as the words that I uttered were fear, corruption, mistrust, harassment, brutality and so on. This kind of perception was no surprise to Funen police as they experienced it before from the ethnic minority group of Denmark, commonly known as Dash-Danish here. Me being from a developing country and having such perception about the police force made me the perfect candidate to talk about the dialogue program.
I have been told that the purpose of the dialogue program is to go to people of the minority ethnic group with a friendly approach to explain to them, that the police are for them as well. The Funen police commissioner Poul Løhde stated that in 2012 The Funen police realized that “the problem oriented approach is not the right approach” so they switched to vision oriented approach around 2013. The moment I entered the police station and sat for the round table meeting I already took in to account, that the police system in Denmark is more of a people’s police, as I saw the friendly face and gesture of the police commissioner. This is something very rare from where I come from, as a police commissioner will not often find it worthwhile to spend their time behind a group of common citizen.
During my stay at Copenhagen, I went for a walk in the evening with three of my fellow participants of the tax-tracking project. We wanted to walk around the neighborhood and relax near the lake but what we saw was a police car parked near the area. Instead of having a seat near the lake we all started feeling insecure and we feared that we would be harassed and miss treated. It might come as an irony to most people in Denmark that we run from the very police force, that are appointed for peoples protection. But in our country, to have such fear and insecurity is pretty common, because of the corruption and wrong practice of bribery by the police. It was very natural for us to assume the same for the police here in Denmark, but after spending a day at the Funen police station and listening all about the dialogue program it changed my point of view. I entered the Funen police station as person who feels uncomfortable when I see a police car and after three hours I felt comfortable enough to take pictures with Funen police officers while wearing there police gears with a smile on my face as well as exchanging phone numbers.
This is an example of the effectiveness of the dialogue project as three hours of getting to know them undoubtedly changed my perception about the Funen Police. Coming from a country where the Police system believes they are above the citizen, I had a closer look at the advantages of the citizen based police system of Denmark. It is mentionable that tax money pays for this sort of police system. The higher education qualification and the fair salary of the police officers and proper control and monitoring plays a vital role in keeping the corruption low and makes the Dialogue project effective and feasible. My motive is to spread this idea and share my experience when I go back to Bangladesh and I hope some day we will also have a people’s police rather than a state’s police. I believe the police can truly ensure the safety of the citizens and bring peace and order to the society, only when the citizens starts seeing the police as a friend to them.