On 12 November British Ambassador to Jordan, Edward Oakden, opened the first training course for Community Police Assistants at Azraq and Za’atari camp. This is the latest development in the British Embassy’s partnership with the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate (SRAD) to support Jordan’s resilience in the face of the Syria crisis, by helping provide security for Syrian refugees.
Since 2013 the British Embassy Policing Support Team has supported the establishment of Community Police Stations at both Azraq and Za’atari camps. In a survey carried out in Za’atari earlier this year, 74% of respondents felt that the introduction of Community Police had made the camp a safer place.
The introduction of Community Police Assistants will extend the reach of the Community Police Stations at Azraq and Za’atari camps. The arrival of 80 new staff, part funded by the British Embassy, and part by the Dutch Embassy, will allow the Community Police to carry out more foot patrols and understand and address issues in the communities by working in partnership with residents and NGOs.
The new recruits will be trained and mentored by SRAD Community Police, who have in turn been trained as trainers by police advisers from the British Embassy Policing Support Team. All training takes place in a British built Community Training Hall in Azraq camp.
Edward Oakden, the British Ambassador said, “The UK and Jordan have a vital partnership. An essential element of that partnership is UK support for Jordan’s stability and security in the face of the Syria and other regional crises. Since the start of the Syria crisis the UK has provided more than half a billion dollars towards building Jordanian resilience, partnering with Jordan in important fields like this community policing. I’m delighted that this programme will not only allow the SRAD to become increasingly effective in the camps, improving the lives of Syrian refugees, but it also provides job opportunities for Jordanians, allowing retired policemen the opportunity to make use of their extensive experience.”
The head of the SRAD, Brigadier Jehad Ghaleb Matar, said of the project: “The opening of the training venue and training of Community Police Assistants will greatly increase the capacity of the SRAD to respond to the safety and security needs of Syrian refugees in Za’atari and Azraq camps. The continual development of SRAD trainers and officers allows us to remain resilient as the refugee population in Jordan grows.”
Hovig Etyemezian, UNHCR Za’atari Camp Manager, said: “The role of the community police is key in helping refugees in Za’atari camp lead a safe and dignified life. The Community Police Assistant training will only improve an already exceptional partnership between the Policing Support Team and SRAD.”