The first step of the CEPOL – European Police College course Community Policing Meets New Challenges: Preventing Radicalization and Recruitment (CEPOL reference 50a/2008) was held in Tampere, Finland on 5-9 May 2008.
Attended by 31 participants from 18 European countries and ten experts from Finland, Sweden, UK, Europol, Latvia and Greece, the aim of the course was to improve the knowledge of the challenges of community policing today and how radicalization and recruitment of terrorism can be prevented. There is also a common approach needed within European police forces on this issue.
The topics of the expert presentations were about terrorism, radicalization and recruitment prevention and about neighbourhood policing and extremism. The Director of Finland’s Ministry of Interior spoke about Internal Security Programme in Finland focusing on early prevention.
The second step will be organised by Swedish National Police Academy later this year in October.
Detective Inspector Darren Mullins, a participant from Kent Police in the United Kingdom, stated “It is fascinating to see how the other European countries are tackling the problems of community policing. There are different ways of trying to gather intelligence from the community in addition to improving trust and confidence with the police. By working closely with the public we are going to be able to tackle the phenomena of radicalization and recruitment for terrorist groups. It is quite clear that the numerous police activities overlay one another and link together; I believe you cannot really concentrate on one aspect of Policing in isolation when tackling such a complex problem. There is a clear need to co-ordinate our activities.”
The course was organised by Police College of Finland together with University of Tampere and supported by Sweden, Latvia and Greece.