The UN Police Division’s Standing Police Capacity (SPC) in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017.
“The Standing Police Capacity is a key component of the Police Division. It boosts the capacity of UN police components during critical phases,” said Stefan Feller, the UN Police Adviser.
Since 2007, its 37 staff - based in Brindisi, Italy - have provided rapidly deployable policing expertise to 44 peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and UN country teams. The SPC has helped set up the police components of five peacekeeping operations, assisted fifteen ongoing operations, and supported five operations during reconfiguration, closure, or transition.
The Standing Police Capacity is a vital tool of UN peacekeeping across the entire spectrum - from preventing conflict to sustaining peace. The staff members of the Standing Police Capacity invest in peace by deploying and developing the capacity of national police services.
For example, in 2016, SPC Officer Stephanie Tieles helped establish the transnational organized crime unit in the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to support Malian security forces in preventing and addressing associated threats.
In South Sudan, Won Hyuk Im was deployed to assist the police component of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) develop political, physical, and programmatic approaches to gender and child protection.
As Police Commissioner for the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), SPC Team leader Lucien Vermeir assisted in the establishment of the first federal police framework in Somalia.
“When established, the SPC marked a conceptual milestone in international policing. Missions now had access to police expertise that was not previously readily available in the missions,” said Walter Wolf, the first Chief of the Standing Police Capacity.
Ten years on, the Standing Police Capacity continues to provide immediate start-up capability with providing timely support, advice, and assistance to police components of UN peace operations.