Australia: Community Policing to Fight Terrorism Down Under

By the News Desk.

Australia will begin to soften its approach to fighting terrorism by relying more on community policing, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Kaldas, head of North South Wales Police's Counterterrorism Unit, said, "The aim of terrorists is to force you to protect everything, everywhere, all the time. Obviously we can't do that, so we need to rely on the community."

The community policing strategy will have two related prongs. The first prong is to build trust and relationships within communities susceptible to radicalization. The second prong is to build a "secure information-sharing network with businesses."

To improve police-community relationships, the police will send out "community contact units" to detect radicalizing forces within a community and warn community leaders of their influence, while creating a back channel where concerned individuals can relay their fear of these same forces to police.

The newspaper reports "Mr Kaldas said the contact units would be deployed to prevent the radicalisation of individuals and terrorist attacks. They could also play a role in ensuring there was not a spate of vilification of Muslims in the event of a terrorist act."

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