Discussion in the context of the reform of Police Strategy 2020-2022

On January 31, 2023 at Police of Ministry of Internal Affairs of RA a working meeting was held between “Social Justice” NGO and the representatives of the Police within the framework of the project “Justice Reform Monitoring in Armenia” (JUREMONIA). The purpose of the meeting, within the framework of this project, was to discuss the results of the preliminary research (baseline study) of the Police Reform Strategy and its Action Plan for 2020-2022 by our organization and an independent expert conducted during July-August 2022.

A list of key issues was presented to the Police by the NGO, among others are:

1) Lack of verifiable indicators of strategic actions

2) Absence of a system for assessing the impact of actions

3) Lack of reporting on non implemented actions

4) Lack of justification for planning specific actions, etc.

The Police Headquarters responded to the organization of the meeting.

Arshak Gasparyan (president of ‘’Social Justice’’ NGO), Anush Danoyan (project assistant), Kristine Sargsyan (Platform Secretary), Tatevik Matinyan (project expert), deputy head of the Organizational-Analytical Department of the Police Headquarters, Hrant Torosyan, head of the Department of Coordination of Reforms and Management Decisions, Andranik Melikyan, the employee of the same department and other employees were present at the meeting.

Hrant Torosyan noted that he got acquainted with the conducted research in detail and thanked for the extensive work done. He then referred to the implementation of the directions set in the Strategy and noted that quite positive results were recorded with the formation of the Patrol Service, in particular, compared to 2019-2021, a decrease in traffic accidents by 10.2% was recorded, the number of injured people in traffic accidents also decreased, and this is largely due to the formation of the Patrol Service. However, indicators have not yet been developed to clearly assess and measure the increase in the number of patrol officers and their impact on traffic accidents. He also spoke about the positive change in public opinion towards the Police, which was based on the research conducted as a result of the cooperation between the Police and the UNDP. According to this survey, 70% of the public has a positive opinion about the Police and the trust index towards the Police has increased compared to before, which is also related to the effective work of the Patrol Service. Mr. Torosyan emphasized that the partial implementation of the measures was also related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 44-day war.  The failure of the implementation of the detective institute and the training of detectives is due to the adoption of the new Criminal Code. Mr. Torosyan mentioned that the mobilization of the National Guard was postponed because the 44-day war began while this actionitself supposed the demilitarization of the police forces, which is now considered apriority. The question related to the remuneration and guarantees of the policemen was also discussed and it was mentioned that the salary of the policemen would increase due to the policemen’s abilities, training, and the results of the voluntary attestation. The representatives of the Police also mentioned that after the formation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it was decided to involve local experts for the implementation of legislative, financial and structural works, and the involvement process was in progress.

The project expert Tatevik Matinyan noted that it became clear from the Strategy Report that there were problems related to measurability, because of which it was difficult to determine the degree of implementation of the strategy’s directions. Police representatives agreed that this kind of problem did exist, however, they noted that the format of the strategy could not provide measurability. Arshak Gasparyan and Tatevik Matinyan added, that there were many indicators, the inclusion of which in the strategy could provide much higher measurability and therefore also transparency. The representatives of the Police noted that the level of implementation of the actions could be seen to some extent thanks to social surveys and it was also necessary to work in that direction.

It was decided that similar meetings would be of continuous nature, during which the effective implementation of Police reforms, the problems related to implementation, their solutions and the final result would be discussed.

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