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Does the training of the police force incorporate anti-racism or cultural sensitivity?

Key Area:
Policing - Law Enforcement - Justice
14/01/2012 - 01:54
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

Since 2009 the Police Academy has introduced as part of the basic training of the Police cadets the training topic “Policing a Multicultural society”, a subject which is one of the subjects of compulsory examination cadets need to pass. However, it is only in extreme cases that Police cadets fail to pass such tests, which are seen by most as a formality. The Police Academy also introduced the same training topic “Policing a Multicultural society” for all its police officers around the country as part of the professional conduct re-training program; this is a two and a half hour training which includes basic understanding of how Cyprus has become a multicultural society over the years, the socio-legal framework for dealing with racially motivated crime and how to record it; the changing scope of policing in a society in transformation; migration, inclusion, integration and understanding on how to police various ethnic and minority groups in society; statistics on crime and victims and good practices that would enhance better policing in a multicultural society. The training syllabus covers mainly racist or religiously motivated crime.

The main problems as far the effectiveness of the training are the following: (a) it is a one off training and has no follow up: one training session cannot undo the deep-rooted prejudices and attitudes which can only change via sustained training, practice, encounter with peers with equal status from other ethnic groups and accountability for any racially-related or other hate crime related practices; (b) anti-discrimination needs to be integrated in routine and everyday practice in all areas of police life and action. The equality body has made similar recommendations, including human rights and anti-discrimination training as well as recruitment of officers from migrant communities (Report for Case No AKP 1/2007). The relevant report of the equality body draws on the UK Metropolitan police practices, which has introduced the above plus a diversity test for all cadets. 

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Asylum seekers
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, Arabophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement
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