Online platform for police and community interaction launched in Ukraine

An online platform Police and Community Interaction was launched in summer. Kyiv residents can use it to address the police for solving the issues of unauthorized trade, wrong parking, and other situations that do not require an immediate response. The main goal of the project is to ensure police and community interaction and improve the security situation in the city. “There are questions that can be asked online and consulted. It is important to have a place where you can ask a competent person. If there is a common platform for dialogue, where you can invite everyone involved in the issue, this is a big step forward in a dialogue between the public and the authorities. This is what coming closer to the authorities looks like,” explained Arseniy Finberg, co-founder of NGO DreamKyiv, project author, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The online platform works on a question-answer basis. Every citizen of Kyiv can ask a question online, and then the request goes to an administrator. “If the request is administered to the service, it is tagged red on the map. The administrator then sends the question either to the police, or to the city authorities, or to lawyers. When a response is given, the administrator downloads it to the service and the request is tagged green. All users can study all requests in their city, and not only on their own if the service catches on,” said project coordinator Anastasia Bahnii.

The platform was launched 100 days ago. During this time 403 appeals were received. The most popular groups of questions are traffic law violations, illegal trade, the use of roads, etc. Most questions coming from the inhabitants of Kyiv’s residential areas were about the illicit drug trafficking, while people from central districts asked about illicit trade and parking. “If the handling of the question involved an active reaction, the user was given a pattern of further actions for him to contact a certain person or authority,” informed Anastasia Bahnii, project coordinator. – Unfortunately, the people did not take any further actions.”

 NGO “DreamKyiv” implemented the project with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation. Representatives of the city authorities also joined initiative “Kyiv Contact Center 1551″. An important feature of this project is that it is a grassroots initiative,” noted Vasylyna Yavorska, program manager of the “Human Rights and Justice” initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation. “It forms the community’s ability to address its own problems. It develops the communities’ capacity to proactively act rather than just look forward to actions from the police,” emphasized Mrs. Yavorska.

 “We hold the events aimed at improving security. We seek the formation of a social society – people who will understand that they are also responsible for security in the house, district or city. If a person ignores the offense or crime and turns a blind eye to this, the police cannot be all over the place at all times. People should be involved in activities that make our society safer,” emphasized Oleksii Ziborov, Acting Head of the Public Relations Department of the Patrol Police Department.

So far, the platform works only in Kyiv. But it is planned to expand the project to other cities. There is already an agreement on its launch in Poltava, Mykolaiv, and Ternopil.

In the future, it is planned to supplement the platform with the service “Electronic office of the local police officer”, through which users will be able to find contacts and office hours of their local police officer.