Monitoring campaign: New patrols excel in culture of communicating and respond promptly to calls, but still lack knowledge of medicine and law

Kyiv, November 6, 2015. The new police have considerably improved the culture of communication with citizens, resulting in increased level of public confidence in new patrols. Nevertheless, there still are gaps in their knowledge in law and ability to administer first aid and medical aid, said experts of monitoring campaign “The Police under Control” at a press briefing in Ukraine Crisis Media Center. As of today, only 70-80% patrols take being filmed easy. Moreover, there were isolated incidents of parking rules violation.

The monitoring campaign “The Police under Control” in Kyiv was coordinated by the Association of Ukrainian Association of Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement (AUHRMLE) jointly with Foundation of Regional Initiatives. The monitoring campaign for Kyiv patrol police lasted three weeks. Monitors managed to communicate with 2З police patrols during this period. We were walking the streets, and when we saw a patrol, we approached them, asking what was happening and filming their work,” said Nataliya Krynytska, Head of director of advocacy group “Regional Initiatives Foundation”. “Our overall impression from the monitoring process is positive.”

According to an opinion poll, most citizens think the same: they feel much more comfortable communicating with the police. “Compared to old militia communicating with ordinary people, new police communication is much better: they are not rude, they don’t use strong language, treat people with respect and remain adequate even in conflict situations,” said Serhiy Pernykoza, coordinator of the monitoring campaign “The Police under Control” and AUHRMLE  representative. The surveyed also said that patrols reach the site faster.

The monitors recommend holding additional training on administering the first aid, develop guidelines for parking a police car, develop guidelines for responding to different types of calls and set a mechanism for checking elimination of offence after receiving verbal warning from the police. Pernikoza emphasized that all the policemen should be supplied with video cameras, and not one or two in a squad. Moreover, it is important to find a technical solution providing for non-stop video recording in order to prevent manipulations. Oleksiy Biloshytskyi, Head of Monitoring and Analysis Unit of the Patrol Service Department said that law enforcements wish they could provide for non-stop video recording. Nevertheless, one shift lasts 12 hours and battery lifetime does not allow constant filming.” Moreover, Biloshytskyi said that patrol service executives understand the gaps they have and are working to improve their professional level.

Ihor Rekun, campaign coordinator in Sumy region, was monitoring in Sumy town and several other towns where old militia is still working. According to Rekun, militiamen mostly were polite and tolerant, doing their best to help and demonstrating examples of efficient and coordinated work. Nevertheless, militiamen often face psychological difficulties communicating with citizens. Moreover, the monitor said that “they often complain about material support”. Militiamen often have no signs and badges, some of them don’t want to introduce themselves and prohibit filming them or taking pictures. “Young sergeants have more aspiration and no stereotypes. I believe they might make better policemen than their officers,” said Rekun.

The monitors consolidated all the monitoring results, description of communicating with patrols, photo- and video materials, results of opinion poll on assessment of patrol police work as well as recommendations in the report they handed to the Patrol Service Department.

Patrol police is functioning in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv now. According to Biloshytskyi, next year new patrol police will appear in other 30 cities of Ukraine.