Earlier this year, the Stabilisation Unit (SU) undertook a visit to the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). A delegation of senior UK police officers joined SU on a four day fact-finding mission, with delegates given a comprehensive overview of what an international deployment looks like and what has been achieved through international policing in Kosovo. The EULEX mission provides crucial support to Kosovo’s rule of law institutions and assists Kosovan agencies in key areas such as corruption, organised crime, historical war crimes cases and public order offences.
The delegation received briefings from a number of senior officials including the Head of EULEX Mission, senior Kosovo police, the Kosovan Deputy Prime Minister and the British Ambassador to Kosovo. Delegates learnt about the benefits that international policing had brought to Kosovo and the positive impact it has had. As a result of UK-led assistance, training and expertise, the Kosovo Police were now better prepared, at the strategic and tactical level, to engage in community policing, enabling the police to build stronger relationships with local communities that in turn contributes towards peacekeeping and crime prevention.
Delegates were also able to hear from deployees to EULEX Kosovo about the benefits international experience offered for UK officers and UK policing: for example an improved understanding of the criminal pipelines for modern slavery and drugs trafficking and how that can contribute to building safer communities at home as well as abroad. They heard about how engagement in a new and challenging context helped officers develop enhanced community policing skills such as problem solving, communication and engagement. Delegates were also interested in exploring how engagement overseas supports efforts to tackle issues ‘upstream’ before they reach the UK.