SUPPORT TO THE INTERNAL SECURITY FORCES IN LEBANON

Analysis Unit

Siren has been engaged in a UK funded and NI-CO (Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas) implemented project in Lebanon since 2008. The project was launched following a Strategic Review of the Internal Security Forces (ISF). The focus throughout has been on Strategic Planning, Human Rights and Public Outreach in support of the ISF’s vision, “to meet the expectations of citizens and have their complete trust”. Key elements of the project have been:

  • A Strategic Review
  • Public Opinion Surveys
  • Strategic Planning
  • Support in developing and implementing a Code of Conduct
  • Support for an anti-corruption campaign – Sakker el Dekkene
  • A Policing Pilot Project at Ras Beirut
  • A Senior Leaders Programme
  • Support to the Mobile Forces

Read more about the role the ISF project plays in security sector reform

At  the  centre  of  a  volatile  region,  Lebanon  and  the  ISF  face  considerable  threats  to security  and  stability.  The  effects  of  the  Syrian  crisis  and  the  complexity   of  the Lebanese  political  context  among  other  factors  place  great  demand  on  the  ISF.  In addition, the low degree of public trust in the ISF challenges the ISF’s ability to perform its  duties.  At  the  heart  of  this  trust  gap  are  public  concerns  over ISF  professionalism, integrity and respect of citizens’ rights.

To  respond  to  these  concerns,  Siren's support  to  the  ISF  has  focused  on building   public   trust  in   the   ISF   through  improving   professionalism,   effectiveness, accountability  and  Human  Rights  standards.  Through  the  Internal  Security  Forces Professionalism,  Rights  and  Outreach  Project  (ISFPRO)  implemented  between 2008-2015,   Siren facilitated   the   implementation   of   a   Code   of   Conduct, implemented  training  for  senior  leadership,  and  supported  the creation  of  a  Human Rights Division within the ISF.

At  the  heart  of  ISFPRO,  the  Pilot  Policing  Programme  at  Ras  Beirut  Police  Station, symbolizes  Siren  Associates’  transformative  approach.  Established  in  2014,  the  Pilot Policing  Programme  implemented  changes  in  architecture,  management,  operations and  underlying  culture  to  transform  Ras  Beirut  Police  Station  into  a  station  using a Community Policing Model that responds to the needs of its community through public engagements, intelligence-led policing and improved professionalism.

Siren continues to work with the ISF and is currently managing and staffing the UK Embassy British Policing Support Project (BPSP), active since 2015.

BPSP supports a number of key ISF departments to a value of £13 million across three years. At  the  centre  of  BPSP  is  the  support  to  the  Police  of  Beirut  to  roll  out  the Community  Policing  Model  to  stations  in  Beirut.

This  will  upscale  the  Pilot  Policing Project and will transform ISF service to Lebanese citizens in Beirut. Working  closely  with  the  Strategic  Planning Team  of  the  ISF,  BPSP  has  arranged  the twinning  of  the  ISF  with  the  Police  Service  of  Northern  Ireland,  allowing  exchange  of experience and expertise through visits and personnel secondments.

At the ISF Academy, BPSP is working with the ISF to develop and implement curricula on  leadership  and  Community  Policing.  At  the  ISF’s  Inspectorate  General,  BPSP  is helping to build structures, processes and skills of accountability. Focusing on improving the  ISF’s  internal  inspections  procedures,  its  ability  to  respond  to  complaints  and abuses and its capacity to implement Human Rights standards.

The  ISF  Mobile  Forces,  tasked  with  supporting  the  ISF  on  public  order  and  safety  is being supported through command training and the establishment of a specialized unit which allows tactical and strategic planning through data collection and analysis.

Siren continuously   reviews   and   adapts   its   support through   ongoing consultation  with  a  wide  variety  stakeholders,  research  and  public  surveys.  Between 2009and 2016, the proportion of people who fully trust the ISF has risen from 14% to39%. While trust levels are subject to a clutch of exogenous factors, it is plain that the work of Siren is having a positive impact on the ISF and its ability to protect and serve Lebanese citizens.