Monday, 24 October 2011

POLICE STATION VISITORS’ WEEK 2011 PRESS STATEMENT

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Introduction

May I on behalf of the Altus Global Alliance and its member organization in Nigeria, CLEEN Foundation, warmly welcome you all to this press briefing, which is being organized to publicly announce the commencement date of this year's edition of the now famous Altus's Annual Police Station Visitors Week (PSVW).

About Altus
As you probably know, Altus is an alliance of 6 non-governmental organizations and academic centers in five continents, established in 2004 to promote safety and justice around the world from a multicultural perspective. These organizations are:

CLEEN Foundation, Lagos
Vera institute of Justice, New York
Institute for Development Communication, Chandighar, India
INDEM Foundation, Moscow
Centre for Studies on Public Safety, Santiago, Chile
Centre for studies on Public Security and Citizenship, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

One of the core areas of Altus's work is Police Accountability and since 2006 Altus Global Alliance has been carrying out the Altus Police Station Visitors’ Week in different countries across the 5 continents. Together, these organizations offer a greater capacity to work across matters on issues of safety and justice and a larger role for the civil society in advancing justice from a multicultural perspective.

What is PSVW all about?

The Altus annual Police Station Visitors' Week (PSVW) is an international program that is organized to facilitate local community groups visiting police stations and assessing the quality of services delivered by police departments, to identify best practices used by police and to strengthen the accountability of police to the local community.

The program relies on planned annual visits by community groups to their local police stations in the last week of October. They join with people around the world to visit and review their local police stations by using a simple assessment tool composed of 20 questions based in 5 human rights areas (the PSVW Kit). In doing so, participants are overseeing and improving police services using an innovative web- based model. Simultaneously, a database is being established.

For many of the visitors—especially those who are female, poor, or marginalized for other reasons—the experience provides their first real access to local law enforcement and a platform for expressing their views about whether the police are serving all members of their community. The visitors use the PSVW Kit to guide their visit, following protocols that are the same for visits around the world. Already translated into 17 languages, the PSVW Kit includes a simple scoring system that allows each individual to assess each station in 20 areas, producing scores on five categories of service: 1) Community Orientation, 2) Physical Condition, 3) Equal Treatment of the Public, 4) Transparency and Accountability, and 5) Detention Conditions.

Immediately after each visit, participants answer a series of questions about what they observed. Their answers are later collected and uploaded to a website. Using the ratings supplied by the visitors, the website will calculate an overall score for each station and separate scores into five categories of service. Police stations that receive the highest overall scores will later be recognized with an award and are encouraged to exchange information about its winning practices. Each participating station will receive a summary of their scores, which can directly help them enhance, modify or change how they interact with groups within the communities they serve. The program does not seek to “shame and blame” any participating police department, but only provides score information to participating stations and visitors.

PSVW provides a new independent vehicle for police departments to establish better relationships with their host communities by receiving valuable and difficult to obtain feedback from community members on where services lag, and how to improve the quality of services available. Additionally, as part of a global program, visitors are able to place their individual judgments about the quality of police service at their own police stations in national, regional, and global contexts.


This years Edition

The years edition of PSVW is scheduled to take place from the 31st October – 6thNovember, 2011A total of 21 countries are participating.  These are:

Ghana;
Liberia;
Republic of Benin;
Nigeria;
Kenya;
Uganda;
Cameroon;
Sierra Leone
Bangladesh,
Nepal,
Maldives,
India
Argentina,
Brazil,
Bolivia,
Chile,
Mexico,
Peru
USA
Russia
Latvia,

one of the focus of the visit this year is to ensure participation of vulnerable members of the community such as women, children and the physically challenged persons. Hence their representation among visitors is highly prioritized with women making at least 30% of visitors.  The visitors would be involved in interactions with the police officers and asking questions that centre on the range of services being rendered by the police to their host communities, the peculiarity of their work environment, the challenges they face in the discharge of their duties among other issues.


Nigeria's Participation

In Nigeria the visits would take place in Lagos, Imo, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Over 700 visitors would be visiting 192 Police Divisional Headquarters in these States. Three Hundred and Thirty Two Police Stations would be part of the visit from the participating countries and over One thousand visitors would be mobilized to visit the participating police stations in Africa.

There would be State based release of the results by the second week of December and the National Award ceremony that would be organized at the end of the year.
It would afford the opportunity to present the report of the PSVW 2011 in Nigeria to members of the media and commend the deserving police stations, divisional police officers that have been identified as positive change agents and share the good practices. Since 2006 the two police stations that have won the award of being the best in Nigeria and in West Africa are Ilupeju Police Station and the Badagry Police Station both in Lagos State.

We hope that the representatives of the media would also be part of this visit. Once again, we say thank you and wish you a pleasant day.

  
Innocent Chukwuma
Chairman/CEO
Altus Global Alliance

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

ALTUS POLICE STATION VISITORS WEEK 2011


The Altus Police Station Visitors Week is here again!  Within this week local community members all over the world will visit their local police stations to familiarize themselves and interactive with the police officers with the aim to identify good practices in the participating police stations that can be shared with other police stations in the country and beyond.


In Africa, participating countries include Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda.  In Nigeria, the visit will take place in all police stations in Lagos, Imo and FCT- Abuja. This year’s visit is scheduled to take place from Monday 31st October – Sunday 6th November.

As part of the program activities, pre- visit training sessions will be organized for visitors at the respective locations as follows:
Lagos:  24th – 26th and 28th October
Owerri: Monday, 31st October
Abuja: Wednesday, 26th October

For further details please call Abena 08064415842 or Lanre 08033011765
 
CLEEN is a founding member of the Altus Gobal Alliance, an alliance of six international Non Governmental Organization working on criminal justice and policing issues.


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