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Cooperation Will Improve the Police Work Against Violence

The police must become better at spotting human trafficking and gender-based violence, according to the Nordic-Baltic Network of Policewomen. Tomorrow they will meet in Copenhagen to discuss new tools for the police work.

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Detective inspector Berglind Eyjólfsdóttir is chairing the network, which gathers police women from across the region. The network’s project Gendered Violence – Nordic-Baltic Dialogue aims to develop new methods for the police work.  The seminar tomorrow is part of the project and Eyjólfsdóttir hopes it will be an eye-opener.
‘We need to compare and improve the methods we use to combat human trafficking and all forms of gender-based violence,’ she says.

What do the Nordic and Baltic police have to gain from the cooperation?
‘Since our countries are neighbours in such a small area, we depend on good cooperation. Our investigations become so much more effective if we know each other. This is important in the work against human trafficking in particular, but also in other areas. The work against violence in close relationships can for example benefit a great deal from sharing of strategies and experiences across national boundaries.’

Berglind Eyjólfsdóttir
 Berglind Eyjólfsdóttir. Press photo

What’s going on in the project at the moment?
‘We will meet in Copenhagen 3-4 February for a seminar on the work against gender based violence. We’re also planning next autumn’s final conference in Riga. It will gather police as well as other experts from the Nordic-Baltic region working daily to combat all forms of violence.’
How can the police work against human trafficking and violence in close relationships be improved?
‘Through more education. For a long time, violence within the family was considered a private matter, and the knowledge about it is still limited in many cases within the police. We need to understand the seriousness of these types of crimes and become better at identifying the victims.’

Shouldn’t this work be part of the regular police operations instead of a special project?
‘There is indeed ongoing police work in this area. Our project should be seen as a complement.  Nordic-Baltic Network of Policewomen helps emphasise issues that we believe should be given more attention. It may be about women’s situation within the police or, like in the case of this project, special issues that we feel should be addressed with greater force.’
What’s the biggest challenge in the work against gender-based violence?
‘There’re a great number of challenges. It’s particularly important to improve the cooperation between the police and other relevant actors, such as social services and healthcare. Our ability to discover these crimes at an early stage depends on co-operation with all actors combating gender-based violence including NGOs.’


This is an article about one of the projects granted funding through the Nordic Gender Equality Fund.

Updated 2 October 2020