Role of Civilian Police in Post Conflict Peacekeeping Missions

Civilian Police were first deployed by the United Nations more than 50 years ago.  After a lull of approximately two decades, the number of police on peacekeeping operations has increased 10, 000 officers in 2009.  The role of police has continued to broaden from one of monitoring general elections, providing training and basic security to one of patrolling and the development of local police.

The inclusion of police in peacekeeping missions is an accepted mantra by both academia and practitioners.  However, the role of police in peacekeeping missions is not well understood by policy and decision-makers.

The purpose of this book is to understand the role that police play in the post-conflict context, especially in regard to reforming local police.  Through the examination of twenty-three United Nations and European Union peacekeeping missions which took place between 1999 and 2007, this book develops responsive operational tools and policies that will support the effective use of deployed police in their delivery of service and when developing the capacity of local police.  The analysis of these operational tools and policies lead to the designing of a generic police peacekeeping model for future peacekeeping or reform missions.

The police peacekeeping model consists of a number of dynamic components that take account of flexibility and local culture.  Included in the model’s components is the implementation of a pre-deployment planning phase and the necessity of objectives and evaluation.

It is intended that this study will assist in improving peace-building outcomes by increasing post-conflict security, stability and development.

A comprehensive report of this study was published in December 2012. Print copies are available through

Dr. den Heyer also published a related article, Filling the Security Gap: Military or Police, in Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, Volume 12, Number 6 (December 2011).