Local Ownership and Community Oriented Policing: The Case of Kosovo
This article provides an overview of the history and the current state of affairs of community-oriented policing (COP) in Kosovo. Based on qualitative research in this country, the focus is on local ownership and the challenges posed by local culture to the implementation of COP in communities. From the beginning, COP in Kosovo was strongly related to peacebuilding and police reform efforts of the international community. After the war in 1999, UNMIK introduced COP strategies using a top-down approach, allowing very little local ownership and public involvement in the process. After 2004, UNMIK began to retreat and transfer more and more responsibilities to the Kosovo government. Different COP forums, like Community Safety Action Teams Programs (CSATs), Local Public Safety Community Councils (LPSCs) and Municipal Community and Safety Councils (MCSCs), were introduced. After independence in 2008, the EU took over from the UN and emphasized approaches focussing on local ownership while at the same time pushing heavily for reforms in the police sector. The outcomes of these efforts had limited success, while numerous challenges are still ahead.
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