News

12 May 2016

"Trust in Ukraine's new police force is sharply on the rise", says new poll

Trust in Ukraine's police force is on the rise

Source: Atlantic Council

Despite continued with governance in Ukraine and dissatisfaction amongst voters in the direction the current government is going, there is some positive news.

Data from a recent national survey conducted by IRI (International Republican Institute) has revealed that police patrols across twenty three major cities in Ukraine has been met with distant approval from residents.

The police reform introduced by the Poroshenko led government and put into action by Georgia's Eka Zguladze last year saw an increase in policing across many major cities across the country.

Zguladze was one of many Georgia born officials drafted in to help Ukraine shake off their Soviet clamps and kick start reforms.

Modelled on American and Canadian examples, recruits to the new police force must undergo a rigorous and competitive selection process.

A big focus is clamping down on petty corruption that was common amongst the 'old guard' police force and a source of considerable frustration amongst residents that had to put up with it.

With the majority of new recruits being young men and women with a strong sense of civic pride, fuelled by the Revolution of Dignity, and being paid a monthly wage of $400 (higher than in previous years), the hope is that these new recruits will frown upon bribes and take a long term view of improving their area through their actions.

And based not he recent IRI poll, residents are so far very satisfied and trust has been increased. Residents can see immediate change in the areas that they live in and many argue that for substantial and lasting change to happen, it needs to start at the grassroots. In this case, with officers on the ground with influence beginning to extend up to the upper echelons of policing in Ukraine.

The aim is to introduce a total of 10 000 new officers to patrol many towns and cities across Ukraine and for each to receive training from experienced American and Canadian trainers.

Key components of training include politeness and to use force only with cause. Kitted out in smart American style blue uniforms, the officers are certainly a contrast to their ill mannered counterparts one is normally used to.

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