World Police Summit Dubai: Domestic violence has spiked since Covid-19, say international officials

'The pandemic has made people short-tempered'


Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 14 Mar 2022, 2:20 PM

Last updated: Mon 14 Mar 2022, 2:29 PM

People have become more short-tempered since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in an increase in domestic violence as there is less interaction among people outside, senior international police officials said on Monday.

While speaking on the first day of the inaugural World Police Summit which commenced at Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday, senior police officials of Interpol, the United Nations and others called for further strengthening of cooperation between the police departments around the world to better deal with all kind of crimes.

“Pandemic has influenced how people live, work and interact with the governments all over the world. Specifically, my impression is the pandemic has made people short-tempered, resulting in an increase in domestic violence,” said Dwight Henninger, President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

He further elaborated that there has been a significant increase in violent crimes in the US and it has a lot to do with the justice system which struggles to remain relevant and do its duty as people can’t meet in-person, becoming difficult to hold trials and proceedings properly.

Gun violence

Henninger noted that criminals want to take advantage of the system and not follow the rule of law. “Gun violence is a problem. The amount of guns that are in the hand of criminals is pretty problematic. Another issue is recruiting the right talent because young people find it more attractive to work for a software multinational as they see it more rewarding.”

He also highlighted the importance of relationship building. Citing an example, he said a criminal from the US had fled to Dubai but he was quickly apprehended by the authorities in Dubai before he could flee due to close cooperation between the two entities.

Maj. Gen. Dr Ahmed Naser Al Raisi, President of Interpol, said the global body has 115 million records of biometrics and works 24/7 with command and control rooms operating in different places of the world. “We have the capabilities that give us the confidence to make the world safer,” said Al Raisi, who was nominated President of Interpol this month for four years.

He said Interpol helps police organisations to improve their response time, especially against organised and financial crimes and cybersecurity which have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Use of data is higher by the police in Europe and the USA but less in Africa and we trying to balance this,” he added.

Capacity building

Al Raisi stressed on training and capability building of the police forces around the world as well as cooperation and coordination between police security agencies.

While speaking during a panel discussion, Commissioner Luis Carrilho, Police Advisor to United Nations, said it is very difficult and challenging in some countries where UN police are deployed for peace and security of the common people because public security structure doesn’t even exist in some countries.

“We play the role of mediation, prevent radicalization and extremism in societies and also help the countries to be more responsive to the needs of the population. UN police officers bring added value to capacity building,” he said, stressing that security authorities’ decisions need to be based on data and technology-enabled tools.

Hanneke Edelmans, deputy commissioner of force command team of Netherlands police, called for raising the awareness which is central to responding effectively and improving the functioning of the society.

“Police needs to be more agile and connect strongly with the society. We need stronger public-private partnerships also to exchange information and cooperate effectively. Police and its role must evolve with society,” she said.

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