Initiative: Allies

Allies is an approach developed by the Dutch Police to build trust between the police, the municipality and communities. Representatives from the police, the municipality and the local communities meet five times a year. The representatives from the community are not professionals, but mainly citizens that are active within their local community. The participants have dinner together, discuss topics related to local security, such as radicalization, polarization, nuisance, and poverty, and agree on concrete actions to be taken together.    

In order to build trust, the following lessons can be drawn from the ‘allies’ approach: 

  • Build personal relationships by having dinner together at the local police station or municipality. Having dinner helps to create an informal atmosphere and is also a way to thank the representatives of the local communities for their time and efforts.
  • Exchange phone numbers and create for instance a WhatsApp group to stimulate contact between the different ‘allies’
  • Be clear about the expectations of an ‘ally’: it requires commitment.

Most importantly: have personal contact not only in time of turmoil, but also in times of peace.

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