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Policing

OGP Justice Policy Series

Feedback from public consultations

On 18 February 2020, our team held a public consultation on strengthening access to justice through OGP commitments. Hosted by OGP’s research, Analytics & Insights team, the goal was to identify data sources, measurement standards, and compelling examples of governments or citizens who are increasing access to justice. This information will be shaped into policy suggestions for OGP-participating governments. On the recommendation of early interviews, and feedback from OGP entities, we’ve divided access to justice into three phases of the criminal justice experience: policing and arrests; court systems, and corrections. Below is a summary of what we discussed.

Existing OGP open policing commitments include:

  • Data transparency: Police departments are releasing data on points of police-civilian contact: demographics; complaints; and case clearance.
  • Advisory councils: Communities are forming citizen advisory councils to contribute to police strategies.
    • A commitment in Afghanistan will expand police and public partnerships to every province to set security priorities and report on corruption and misconduct.
  • Civilian oversight boards: Governments are adopting citizen oversight boards to review police actions and review responses to complaints against police.
    • Liberia has an online “Find Officer” complaint tool. [Not functioning as of March 2019.]

What we heard from you:

  1. Context: Judicial reform can overlook police reforms
    1. Ex: India’s seeing improved data access for court data but police data remains fragmented among the states and lacks detail and demographic information.
    2. Ex: Afghanistan and Mexico saw improvements in court processes but police procedures remained unaddressed.
  2. Insufficient data: Data are often unavailable, rudimentary, fragmented among subnational governments, and lack demographics. Data are essential for ensuring all demographics are treated equally and for tracking trends.
    Resources:

    1. Reverse-mapping in India: Civic Data Lab is mapping first information report details from court data and then matching it to F.I.R. data from respective police websites.
      1. Limit: It’s limited to cases registered in the courts.
    2. Telangana, India: The police website provides individual case information.
    3. Freedom of Information and Right to Information Acts
      1. Limits: This data is often on an individual case basis and not aggregated.
    4. Country-specific reports:
      1. World Justice Project polled both the general public and arrested citizens in Mexico and Afghanistan on citizen trust of police and perceived police corruption. Citizens who have been through the entire judicial process can best speak to the implementation of due process. (Mexico 2018 findings; Afghanistan results will be published in upcoming months.
      2. State of Policing in India (2019) and India Justice Report (2019)
  3. Police mistreatment of detainees: Police can abuse power in making arrests, interrogations, and mistreatment of detainees.
    Resources:

    1. Citizen advisory councils in India
      1. In 2013, the Bengaluru City Police and the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy initiated a community policing program in seven police stations. Communities are filling the gap between police and citizens to keep neighborhoods safe.
      2. In 2008, Kerala launched the Janamaithri Suraksha Project in 20 police stations and is now in 478 stations. Specific officers directly interact with citizens in their communities. In Assam, the movement is called Meira Paibi (torch bearers) where the women have taken the responsibility of improving the law and order situations.
    2. USAID is working with community engagement in Latin American and the Caribbean
  4. Distrust of police: Distrust in police hinders the efficacy of officers and community policing but can be common, particularly in Latin American countries.
    Resources:

    1. USAID promotes trust in police by changing the face of police and facilitating non-enforcement interactions between police and the public (soccer games or neighbor forums). Active in northern triangle countries, Mexico and Colombia.
  5. Juvenile and gender-based crimes and anti-trafficking:
    Resources:

    1. USAID assists countries in security issues which include police and law enforcement and is working on juvenile and gender justice issues in the Caribbean
  6. Militarization of police:
    1. Possible case study: Chilean civil disturbances.

How we plan to address/incorporate your feedback:

We plan to closely review these inputs as we begin framing our policy series which will identify major areas for innovation on opening up police and related public safety offices in OGP. In particular, we are taking efforts to deal with strengthening data and efforts to improve community involvement and oversight.

We’ll then pull police commitments from our database of 4,000 OGP commitments and map them against third-party data to see the extent to which OGP countries are innovating and addressing the challenges of trial processes within their action plans.

We will work with participants and partners to identify adaptation-ready emerging practices to OGP action plans.

What’s next?

  • We welcome your feedback below (in the public comment box) or to our email at research@opengovpartnership.org. We are going to close comments on Monday, March 23, 2020. If you would like to talk to us, please reach out to the email above to schedule a phone call. You can also reach out to us even after the deadline during the production process.
  • For the areas that require further research, we may commission research by partners to help inform the final report.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the consultations during the live sessions and in writing!

Background

Recommendations for standards of openness in policing, as seen in the 2015 Final Report of The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and the 2011 UNODC Handbook on Police Accountability, Oversight, and Integrity, have been largely unexplored in OGP commitments. To date, very few commitments have made ambitious reforms to improve the openness of police data, give civil society a codified role in directing police strategies, or perform oversight of police. The next steps for OGP members involve committing to reforms that are shaped by existing standards and recommendations and that build off of the successes of a few lone exemplars in OGP.

Proposed Data:

We are considering using the following data sets to benchmark OGP performance in this area. We would love your opinion on which ones are your favorites, why, and what is missing:

  • World Justice Project (WJP): The WJP Rule of Law Index uses surveys to measure the extent to which police discriminate against certain criminal suspects, make arbitrary arrests, and use excessive force during arrests
  • Latinobarometro/Afrobarometer/Asiabarometer/Eurobarometer: Large scale country-by-country opinion surveys on public trust in police
  • World Values Survey: Surveys in 60 countries on public trust in police
  • Urban Institute: Views of the Police and Neighborhood Conditions: Surveys in six US cities on perceptions of police before and after National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice initiative (US only)

Possible Issues and Reforms to Highlight:

  1. Collection and Transparency of Police Data
    1. Possible framework
      1. Data on police-civilian point of contact (use of force, stops, citations, arrests, officer involved shootings, coordinates, etc.)
      2. Data on complaints (details of complaint, officer complaint is registered against, resolution, etc.)
      3. Data disaggregated by demographics of individuals involved in police-civilian contact (gender, race, etc)
      4. Data on case clearance 
    2. Possible Cases
      1. United States (2015): Police Data Initiative, website linking open police datasets from law enforcement agencies across the US 
      2. Austin, United States (2019): Working with civil society to improve the usability and usefulness of Austin’s Annual Crime Data file
  2. Citizen Advisory Councils 
    1. Possible framework
      1. Formalized body of civil society representatives advising police on strategy and resource allocation
    2. Possible Cases
      1. Afghanistan (2017): Expanding police-public partnerships to every province in the country, inclusive of marginalized communities, setting security priorities and reporting to police on complaints of corruption and misconduct 
      2. Ukraine (2016): Training police forces and educating the public on community policing methods and forming citizen advisory councils 
      3. Jalisco, Mexico (2017): Police coordination with civil society to identify neighborhood risk factors and define actions to address risks
      4. Paraguay (2018): Public participation in construction of local crime maps and development of crime prevention plans in five territories
  3. Police Oversight Boards and Complaints
    1. Possible Framework
      1. Civilian oversight boards with a mandate to review police actions and hold them accountable 
      2. Mechanisms by which the public can submit complaints against police officers 
    2. Possible Cases
      1. Liberia (2015): A new website allows citizens to register complaints and seek redress for police actions, includes “Find my Officer” section providing identity and location of officers once ID number is submitted

Other relevant OGP Commitments:

  • Mongolia (2014): Develop and publish digital map of crime occurrence
  • Georgia (2014): Make police.ge accessible to the blind by adding audio reading of website content, including police data section (voice.police.ge)
  • Indonesia (2014): Create a platform to publish public complaints against police and outcomes from addressing complaints

Further Questions:

  • Are these the right areas of focus? Should there be more of an emphasis on police training or crime incident mapping?
  • Some evidence exists showing public trust in police improving after implementation of reforms related community policing and citizen advisory initiatives. What are the strongest, evidence backed examples of police reforms improving public trust/perception of law enforcement?
  • What type of police data should be prioritized? Is there an existing model of linked police department data (such as the Police Data Initiative) that can be replicated by other OGP members? 
  • What datasets might we be missing to benchmark performance of OGP members?

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