Nepalese police officers have been visiting north Belfast to find out how to develop partnerships with the community.
They were welcomed to the city last week by the York Road Neighbourhood Policing Team and representatives from Intercomm. The visit was facilitated through Saferworld, a non governmental organisation (NGO).
Sergeant Brian Caskey, York Road Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Northern Ireland and Nepal both have a similar history in terms of the conflict that they have experienced.
“Officers from Nepal during their visit to North Belfast were keen to explore the channels that exist for residents and members of the community to input into local policing priorities.
“They were keen to get an insight into how structures such as District Policing Partnerships, Community Safety Partnerships, residents’ associations, community groups, youth clubs and bodies such as Intercomm, provide mechanisms for local residents to raise concerns and to shape the type of policing service that is delivered on the ground.
“Significant progress has been made over the last number of years in north Belfast,” Sergeant Caskey continued.
“Such change has only been possible through the combined efforts of a range of interested parties who are working in partnership to affect positive change. We will be showing the officers from Nepal some of the positive physical changes that have taken place such as the re-imaging of Tiger’s Bay and the Alexandra Park ‘peace gate’.
The officers from Nepal were also keen to find out more about conflict legacy issues and how these can influence the way in which communities interact.
Liam Maskey, from Intercomm, said: “We were delighted to be able to bring representatives from community groups, which operate across Nnorth Belfast, together to meet with the Nepal police in a face to face environment. This meant that officers were able to get a first hand account of the challenges and obstacles which have been overcome and the positive benefits which have been delivered.
“It is very encouraging to see knowledge and learning of this nature being shared |internationally.”
Graham Mathias, of Saferworld, said they had worked directly with the PSNI and Intercomm over the past few years, including a visit to Nepal to better understand their policing approaches, challenges and community safety needs.
He welcomed the delegation and added: “We are in no doubt that this will be immeasurable benefit to Nepal as they embrace police modernisation and also to the transformation in Northern Ireland. We acknowledge that the Nepal Police have been developing Policing with the Community since the late 1990s.”