On Thursday 6th August 2020, Forward Thinking hosted an online meeting between Peter Sheridan, Joint List Knesset MKs and civil society actors in Israel, to discuss the Northern Irish experience of policing in a a society affected by conflict. Peter Sheridan is the CEO of Cooperation Ireland and former Assistant Chief Constable with the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI). He has over 32 years of policing experience.
In Israel, struggles over ethnicity, class, and religion often manifest in questions around the state and institutions, particularly the police. Antagonistic tensions between the Israeli police and Palestinian Israeli citizens have grown in recent year and there is a need to enhance cooperation in order to foster greater public trust.
Whilst recognising that no two conflicts are the same, Peter was able to share his insights into the police reform that took place in Northern Ireland throughout the conflict and following release of the Patten report in 1999. In order for long lasting reform to take place and be accepted by all sides, it was necessary for the police as well as the local community to undertake significant shifts. Participants considered the role that the non-profit sector could play in police reform alongside the modes by which change could take place. The group were also able to reflect on how reform could occur, within the current context of the conflict.