The PROACTIVE project aims to provide social mediation skills to first line Greek police officers, focusing on fighting discrimination and at the same time on the implementation of policies that prevent the social exclusion of the vulnerable group of the Roma.
Through the development and application of an innovative participatory social mediation and preventive security framework, the project seeks to enhance the role of police officers as an integral part of the “social chain”, highlighting the role of trained Roma mediators.
The Roma are among the most vulnerable groups, which disproportionally face discrimination and social exclusion. As a result, there is lack of communication and cooperation between the members of Roma communities and civil servants. In particular, as far as police officers are concerned, relationships of mistrust have been established with members of Roma communities, while the influence of stereotypes located within Roma communities about police officers, create a divide.
The PROACTIVE project aims to proactively support Roma social mediation and preventive security issues, promoting a shared understanding between members of Roma communities and first – line police officers at local level, while destabilizing their potential involvement in discriminatory practices.
- Το deconstruct stereotypes, change attitudes between Roma people and Greek police officers.
- To provide structured support to Greek police officers to fulfil their preventive role, providing them with social mediation skills.
- To enhance police officer’s capability in interacting effectively with Roma communities, building public confidence and cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
- To support decentralized participatory processes for community oriented preventive security policing, encouraging and multiplying community action group facilitators.
The PROACTIVE project is based on an innovative methodological approach, which focuses on providing police officers with tools and techniques developed within the field of Roma social mediation. The project seeks to capitalize on the institutionalized role of community oriented policing in preventive security issues. Based on this framework, it proposes an approach to handle sensitive issues (i.e. Roma discrimination and Greek police), through the development of trusted relationships, cultivating a culture of proximity between the two target group.
The PROACTIVE project is based on the following structural interdependent axis, according to the tailor made methodological approach on social mediation and preventive security issues:
- Education, with an emphasis on the training of police officers on social mediation and preventive security issues.
- Pilot implementation, focusing on enhancing the role of community oriented policing, throughout the formation and the operation of mixed (Roma and non-Roma) Local Action Groups.
- Dissemination of the results of the project, creating multiplier effects at local and national level.
The methodological approach to be followed will be participatory, given that members of Roma communities and police officers are expected to play a key role in co-defining / co –participating in:
- defining current and specific needs,
- developing the methodological framework,
- the training activities and,
- the pilot implementation of the project.
Based on the above, the key activities of the project are:
-Development of the methodological approach on social mediation and preventive security issues
It encompasses the development of a customized tailor made methodology based on social mediation and non discriminatory practices through desk, qualitative and quantitative research.
-Training of Greek Police officers on social mediation and preventive security issues
It includes the training of fist-line police officers, having the most frequent encounters with members of Roma communities at local level, as well as the development of training material and of an e-learning platform.
-Pilot implementation and assessment
It includes the pilot implementation of the developed methodological framework, on two target areas of the ROMED-ROMED2 programmes, through the formation and operation of Local Action Groups. The pilot implementation will also serve so as to assess the impact of the project activities on beneficiaries, through a counterfactual and behavioral approach.
-Dissemination and exploitation
It involves activities to promote social mediation and preventive security issues, based also on the projects results. Key part of the dissemination activities is the organization of 21 info days to be held in different areas across the country.
As far as Greek police and police officers are concerned:
- Improved knowledge on preventive security and community policing issues.
- Informed knowledge on Roma social mediation and preventive security issues.
- Developed communication channels between police officers and Roma communities.
- Established trusted relationships between police officers and members of Roma communities at local level, through a participatory approach, involving all relevant stakeholders.
- Destabilization of the potential involvement of police officers in discriminatory practices, as far as members of Roma communities are concerned.
- Improved quality of police services, on a human rights oriented basis.
As far as members of Roma community are concerned:
- Improved consciousness on preventive security issues.
- Improved perceptions as far as police officers are concerned and the preventive role of the police.
- Increased trust for Greek institutions and especially for the Greek police.
- Established participatory culture of dialogue, promoting the active engagement of Roma communities.
As far as members of local societies / general public are concerned:
- Increased awareness on Roma non-discrimination.
- Increased awareness on preventive security issues.
- Increased culture of dialogue with members of Roma communities.
- Enhanced social cohesion: decreased delinquency rates.
Overall, the project is expected to produce multipliers from the aforementioned target groups, who are going to promote social dialogue on equality and non-discrimination issues, exchange of best practices on preventive security and social mediation as tools to combat discrimination. In this context, this is expected to have a long term impact on policy debates and in particular in the design, implementation and evaluation of targeted public policies at national and European level.
|Co-funded by the “Rights, Equality and Citizenship 2014 – 2020” Programme of the European Union.|
REFERENCE NUMBER: JUST/2015/RDIS/AG/DISC/9451
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