DOHA: Qatar has decided to set up a separate and independent directorate of community policing within its interior ministry, signaling that it will increasingly focus on police-public partnership in preventing and fighting crime.
Hitherto public security departments in the North (Al Shamal), Capital Area (Doha), Al Rayan, Dukhan and the South have special sections devoted to community policing. But there was no central department for community policing within the interior ministry. That has now been set up.
The Prime Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani (pictured) , who also holds the Interior Affairs portfolio, yesterday issued a set of decisions to upgrade the organisational structure of the Ministry of Interior.
As per the decision, a number of departments existing within the interior ministry are being merged and made part of General Directorates, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported eysterday.
In all, there will now be nine General Directorates and one of them will be exclusively concerned with community policing.
The immigration department will be known as the Directorate of Nationality, Ports and Expatriate Affairs. Police will come under the General Directorate of Public Security, while coasts guards under the General Directorate of Coasts and Border Security. Besides, the departments of supply and equipment, information systems, legal affairs, traffic, civil defence and criminal investigation will now become General Directorates.
According to the QNA report, the nine directorates consist of two new general directorates and one of them is to do with Community Policing while the other concerns Inspection and Monitoring.
QNA said the Prime Minister’s decisions come in line with the development of the Ministry of Interior and modernisation of its Services. Community policing stresses prevention, early identification and timely intervention to deal with issues before they become unwieldy problems.
The concept and practice of community policing are not new to Qatar. The interior ministry has for long been relying in part on community policing to prevent and combat deviance.
Public security departments have been closely interacting with citizen and expatriate groups as well as student groups to cement the community policing process.