International police assistance mandates have changed over the past two decades. Activities have become increasingly wide-ranging and complex, moving from monitoring host State police officers to supporting the reform and restructuring of police organisations. In a few exceptional cases, (most recently Kosovo and Timor-Leste) ‘executive’ police mandates involve substituting for inadequate or absent policing and law enforcement capacity. Both executive and non-executive missions have focused on building capacity of the host State police, a task complicated by weak governance, fragile institutions, community dislocation, rapid urbanisation and transnational criminal groups.
Input by: Tor Tanke Holm, Deputy Director of the Norwegian Police University College, and Mark Downes, Assistant Director DCAF and Head of the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT)