- Publication date
- 30 May 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
Community police officers are a highly effective asset in preventing and countering radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism (P/CVE) at local level. Since extremist discourses are increasing online, community police officers must also focus on this digital space.
Digital community policing (DCP) means curating an online presence and ensuring police are visible and approachable to their communities: following and engaging with these communities helps police remain informed and aware of prevalent problems.
In an online meeting on 5 and 6 July 2021, police officers and experts discussed what community policing looks like today, the response to the online dimension in police work, the various experiences of DCP, what competences and tools are required, and what training is needed. The key outcomes are as follows.
- It is promising to see an investment across Europe in innovation in community policing, as this is crucial to keeping police involvement in P/CVE up to date.
- Following the shift online of the general public and subcommunities is essential for community police officers, but it also presents opportunities: going online will keep officers engaged and abreast of developments in their area and their communities.
- There are promising examples of DCP. For community police officers to be effective online, police need to invest in training and tools; they can gain from cooperation with academia, the private sector and NGOs.
This paper summarises the discussion at the online RAN POL meeting held on 5 and 6 July. It starts by presenting the highlights of community or proximity policing in P/CVE, with examples of how police in Europe are incorporating the digital domain into their work. After considering what DCP could look like, the paper reviews the required competences and training. The paper concludes by describing practices of interest, and also makes recommendations and provides suggestions for follow-up and further reading.