Notes from the Field

New Paper Explores Community Police Development in Timor-Leste

December 14, 2011

Community Policing in Timor-LesteFor 24 years until 1999, the police in Timor-Leste were under the command of the Indonesian military, and today, people still hold memories of the fears they felt toward the police and the security forces at that time. A national survey of community police perceptions carried out by The Asia Foundation showed that community police relations have greatly improved since then, and Timor-Leste’s political leadership continues to prioritize the need for police reform. Community policing projects have demonstrated the potential for positive impact of community policing initiatives on safety and security in Timor-Leste. Despite this, community policing is not yet seen as a high priority for reform. In this just-released paper, the ninth in The Asia Foundation’s “Occasional Paper” series, Nélson De Sousa C. Belo, director of the Fundasaun Mahein, Mark R. Koenig, Asia Foundation program fellow for Governance and Law, and Silas Everett, the Foundation’s country representative in Timor-Leste, explore the national-level political aspects of police reform in Timor-Leste and identify limitations and opportunities for improving policing and security in Timor-Leste. Download paper.

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