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Policing

OGP Justice Policy Series

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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