Sharing experiences and transferring knowledge is the aim of a visit from 30 police officers from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The visit, which has been facilitated by the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, in partnership with South Yorkshire Police, gave the visiting officers an insight into grassroots policing across the region.
They spent five days visiting various areas of the force including the cyber-crime unit, community police beats, the mounted police unit and the modern slavery team. They also met Chief Constable Stephen Watson and Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts.
The visit follows a previous collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University and four Indian state police forces to improve access to justice for female victims of violence in India.
The project, ‘Justice for Her’ was developed in 2016 to increase access to justice, rights and protection for women and girl victims in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab through a specialist training programme for police officers.
The work with Madhya Pradesh Police has continued and the relationship has grown, with the commitment to it opening 51 one-stop crisis centres for women and children across the state.
On the back of the project, the Madhya Pradesh Police is committed to continuing to work with the Helena Kennedy Centre and explore ways to develop innovative training and police programmes that meet the demands of policing in 2020 and beyond.
It is hoped that through the visit both forces will be able to share experiences and best practice, developing a mutually beneficial network between both organisations.
Dr Sunita Toor of Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice said: “It has been a fantastic few days for our visitors and also South Yorkshire Police Officers. Both have thoroughly participated and engaged with the visit.
“It’s exciting that we are helping to foster a meaningful international partnership between Madhya Pradesh Police and South Yorkshire Police – we’re looking forward to doing many more visits like this in the future. I’m excited to see where we can take this collaboration – helping to build stronger communities both at home and across the world.”
Anuradha Shankar, Additional Director General for Policing, Training and Research at Madhya Pradesh Police said: “A collaboration which began two years ago between Sheffield Hallam University and Madhya Pradesh Police has grown into a partnership which is taking on new dimensions.
“The Mid-Career Training of senior officers with South Yorkshire Police, curated by the Helena Kennedy Centre, is not only an avenue of exchange but a means to engage for long term capacity building.”
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, from South Yorkshire Police said: “We have really enjoyed welcoming officers of Madhya Pradesh to South Yorkshire. It is another example of our close working relationship with Sheffield Hallam University.
“As well as being a good opportunity to share our good practice with colleagues from India, it’s enabled us to see what we can learn from them. These officers police over 70 million people, across an area the size of England and Wales combined. It’s been eye-opening to hear about the challenges they face and the incredible ways they are able to utilise technology to enable them to meet their demand.”