The Role of Capacity Building Programs in Promoting Best Practices for Maritime Law Enforcement in the Region
1. Introduction
Providing capacity building assistance is the formal end of a process that seeks to provide people with the capability and confidence to bring about change. There are a number of working definitions of capacity building. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) defines it as a process that leads to the overall enhancement of skills, resources, and ability of people to advance development in a sustainable manner. While the European Union defines it in a broader sense as an ongoing process of change involving individuals, communities, organizations, and societies in which they can improve performance and resources to reflect values and goals (The Pacific Centre for Public Integrity, 2007).
Studies on conventional law enforcement suggested that there is an evident deterrence potency in international law enforcement (Naylor 1988, Finckenauer and Waring 1997). The evident success in international law enforcement has prompted some criminologists to question the deterrence theory discussed in international law enforcement and to recommend a shift towards developmental prevention strategies to address international fisheries crime (Naylor 2002). Because it is clear that strategies used in international law enforcement to date have primarily been based on command and control approaches entailing the apprehension and punishment of offenders, the most effective of developing preventive strategies is certain. This would be most effective through a process of social learning whereby formal or informal means, changes are made to provide people with the capability to discern between what is right and wrong and have the confidence to seek positive behavior change (Naylor 2002, Sampson and Laub 2005 in Petrie, R, 2007).
1.1 Background
In defining best practices, it would be any enforcement tactic or method which has been empirically proven to be the most effective in stopping a certain crime with the least amount of resources used. According to Dr. Roberta Arnold, senior research officer at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, research in the field of international law and cooperative enforcement is still in its infancy, and there exists no clear ‘textbook’ on best practices for maritime law enforcement. The lack of comprehensive research on specific tactics and methods for each type of crime, and the fact that SEA maritime enforcement agencies often lack expertise in the various areas of law, have resulted in a scenario whereby they are enforcing laws which are of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) but using methods which are based on land police tactics, or laws of the sea from other countries, rather than at a national level. An example of this occurring is the boarding and detaining of fishing vessels for infringements such as illegal fishing and smuggling. While it is a lawful and effective method, lack of knowledge on the correct procedures and legalities involved have led to cases of detainment being challenged in court and subsequently overturned. This is contrary to the European Union, where an expert in fisheries law would have no difficulty in detaining the vessel in strict accordance with EU and international laws on the specific offense.
As maritime criminals are unconstrained by borders, they present a common threat to all coastal states. To this end, international law enforcement within the maritime domain has moved towards the concept of ‘cooperative enforcement’, a term coined by the US Department of Defense which advocates the pooling of law enforcement resources in a coalition of states to create ‘good order at sea’. An example of such cooperative initiatives includes the ‘Malacca Straits Patrol’ involving Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, and ‘Eyes in the Skies’ involving the same countries, which aimed to conduct aerial surveillance over the Straits. These initiatives are essential in that they seek to prevent crimes from occurring, as it is here where the cost-to-benefit ratio is most favorable. In order to effectively carry out such prevention, it is important that best practices in maritime law enforcement be known and observed by maritime enforcement agencies. This then leads to the importance of capacity building programs for SEA maritime enforcement agencies, which are the focus of this study.
Today, threats posed by criminals in maritime environments are no longer confined to just one or two countries, but have become transnational in scope. Dato’ Seri Tengku Sharifuddin bin Tengku Mohamed, Director General of the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, MMEA, conceded that the future will clearly see the law-breakers becoming more sophisticated and that they will commit their offenses on a regional basis in the safety of relatively lawless areas in and around other countries. Because of this, it is imperative that the various maritime enforcement agencies in the Southeast Asian region not only increase their respective levels of professionalism and effectiveness but also work together to prevent their countries from becoming safe havens and/or transit points for these criminals.
1.2 Problem Statement
There are many reasons to advocate better integration of maritime patrol strategy and the development programs which are offered by various international agencies including IMO, FAO, UNDP, and IGOs such as Regional Fisheries Organizations. Many of the developing nations in the Asian region have limited experience in the effective management and enforcement of their EEZs and have traditionally exploited their fisheries on the high seas. Due to the general lack of governance, poor economic conditions, and the depletion of coastal fisheries, there has been a mass migration of both fishing effort and fishers themselves to neighboring countries, increasing the incidence of conflict over fisheries resources. Global maritime security situation since the September 11 attacks is contributing to less freedom of movement at sea and is a potential obstacle to good order at sea and development of the rule of law with respect to the resources of the EEZ. An isolated incident in which the Indonesian navy mistakenly detained an Australian patrol boat in 2006 is evidence of an increasingly complex and potentially dangerous maritime security environment in the region. Economic considerations and material assistance offered from developed to developing countries under the guise of maritime security and counter-terrorism initiatives are likely now or in the future to involve military assets in constabulary roles within the country’s EEZ in joint or coordinated operations. High inflation costs of military assets with limited results, incidents of overreach, violation of sovereignty, mistaken identity, and tension between armed forces of neighboring countries mean that constraining military assets to the defense of home territory and adopting alternatives in promoting regional security and good order at sea may be more desirable for some countries. This will require a thorough understanding from all parties of the legal rights and restrictions and the ability to employ a civil maritime enforcement strategy. A study of the best practices and alternative strategies in promoting the laws and regulations of the EEZ in various social, economic, and political conditions is necessary.
1.3 Research Objectives
The primary objective of this research is to determine whether the capacity building programs conducted by maritime enforcement agencies in the region lead to best practices in the enforcement of maritime laws. Briefly, capacity building is a process that involves the development of practical skills, infrastructure, human resources, and a strengthening of institutions, all of which are vital in the development and sustainability of a program aimed at preventing an array of activities detrimental to the marine environment. This will be established by evaluating the effectiveness of various capacity building programs in terms of their ability to strengthen national and regional enforcement of maritime laws. To do this, it will be necessary to identify what is meant by “best practices in maritime law enforcement” as this will provide a benchmark for the effectiveness of capacity building programs in achieving their goals. Understanding that best practices are those techniques, methods, and activities accepted by a given law enforcement community as the most effective and efficient, whether proven or leading to a desired result. This understanding will guide the evaluation of various programs as it will identify the level of acceptance by member states and whether changes to law enforcement methods are made in the framework of the program. The relationship between capacity building and enforcement activities will also be evaluated in considering whether changes to law enforcement components i.e., operation, legislation, and administration, are direct results of capacity building programs. A determination that capacity building is, in fact, a causal factor in changes to enforcement activities will provide evidence that the program has an effect on law enforcement. Finally, it will look at the effects of changes to enforcement activities on specific law enforcement outcomes. This will be determined whether the changes made to enforcement components result in more effective and efficient prosecution of breaches to maritime law. These linkages to changes in law enforcement activities will provide an understanding of how capacity building has affected law enforcement and whether this is translated into best practices.
2. Understanding Capacity Building Programs
Capacity building is an essential element of maritime law enforcement. It is true that many officials have been able to successfully receive training to improve their understanding of legal/policy concepts, enforcement skills, intelligence gathering and analysis, investigation, and use of modern technology. However, across the globe, criminal organizations are constantly adapting their tactics and becoming more sophisticated. In addition, the laws of the sea change and there are many different areas of law that maritime law enforcement officials must be proficient in. Because of these factors, the skills of even the most senior officials can quickly become obsolete. Capacity building is the bridge between knowledge and ability. Officers may have a strong understanding of a given law, however, it is the capacity to effectively enforce that law which is lacking. A computer may greatly assist an intelligence analyst, but he must have the capacity to use it to store and access information, and the have the ability to transform that information into a case. The most common forms of capacity building are education of various forms. This may involve going abroad for a degree, or short term training in a specific skill. On the job mentoring is also an effective form of capacity building. This is where the mentor imparts knowledge to the mentee and guides development of the required skills. An example may be an experienced investigator mentoring a rookie investigator in the methods of a criminal case. Transfer of knowledge is a key element. This is because in order for a skill to be developed, there must be understanding of how and why it is done. Ideally, the desired outcome of capacity building is sustainability. This is where the skills and abilities are retained and continuously improved, and there is improvement in the performance and changed behaviour of the target group. An example may be a program to improve national legislation. The outcome would be that an improved law would be well understood and enforced by officials. This will ultimately result in the reduction of a specific crime.
Building is activities which result in an improvement in the system of policies, rules, administrative procedures, and legislation, as well as the organizations and programs that are engaged in implementing them. This will ultimately lead to better and more sustainable health and other development outcomes. Capacity building is an ongoing process. At its core is the enhancement of the skills, competencies and abilities of individuals and organizations and the strengthening of their performance and impact. Capacity building encompasses many things. These can range from formal training to ad hoc technical assistance, organizational development, networking, information sharing, advocacy, to policy analysis. It can also involve many people from those being trained to those conducting training, and it can occur in many places, from the local health district, to a regional or national training institute. This flexibility is often a strength of capacity building efforts.
2.1 Definition and Concept
In order to give a little bit more depth about the concept of capacity building, it is necessary to make a distinction between capacity and performance. Capacity is the potential for the future to do something, whereas performance is the actual result of the sum of present and past capacity and performance. There is the idea that all current levels of capacity have been achieved by some sort of investment. This idea can be used to differentiate between levels of capacity using the metaphor of a capacity gradient, with the lowest level being the minimum capacity to perform a task and the highest level being the maximum capacity. All forms of current capacity are a result of investment, which can be increased to move up the gradient and likewise capacity can be lost through disinvestment causing a downward movement on the capacity gradient.
When discussing capacity, there are various connotations and meanings that can be attached to this term depending on the context in which it is used. But as a general definition, capacity is the ability to perform specific tasks or achieve specific results. Capacity building is therefore the process where individuals, groups, organisations and societies are able to constructively and effectively implement the prior mentioned tasks and achieve the prior mentioned results. However, to gain specific understanding about what is capacity building in a particular organisation or a project would warrant a specific definition. Gaventa (2001, p.22) defines capacity building as something that is done to increase the ability of an organisation to perform a specific task or achieve a specific result. Wolf (2001, p.13) defines it as the action taken to increase organisation, management and governance effectiveness through developing human and social capital.
2.2 Importance in Maritime Law Enforcement
The essence of capacity building programs is to assist beneficiary countries in effectively implementing international agreements and standards, including building the requisite expertise and institutional cultures. The application of capacity building to a developing state can take various forms; it is not merely equipping the state with more assets or infrastructure. This has been proven in all fields of law enforcement and expressed in various international forums which refer to the Third United Nations conference on the least developed countries: “Capacity building is a long-term, continuing process, in which all stakeholders participate. It is multi-faceted, takes place at various levels, and is undertaken by various development actors, both national and international.” Capacity building is a long-term investment. In reference to law enforcement, this can be translated into a long-term solution for the state’s law problems. Capacity building programs start from identifying specific needs and end with an evaluation of the initiative’s impact. Success depends on how the programs are designed and executed, and in these respects, the types of programs vary widely and each has its own relative advantage. An example of the long-term process and wide-ranging procedural nature of capacity building can be seen in the European Union’s plan for a comprehensive approach to the Coordinated Maritime Border Management of the European External Action Service, which is one of the only in-depth capacity building plans for a specific region and sector.
At the most basic level, the comparative advantage of capacity building can essentially be boiled down into a more-for-less equation. Any good or service has an opportunity cost, which is the benefit foregone of the next best alternative. For some types of capacity building programs, the long-term nature means that the opportunity cost of law enforcement infrastructure is reduced and its effectiveness is increasing with relative cost. An example would be training for law enforcement officials in specific areas, such as coast guard training or defense counsel training. Such training is relatively inexpensive, but by increasing individual officer understanding and skill, the effectiveness of entire systems can be improved. This can be compared to more direct forms of aid to build infrastructure, such as sector-specific courts or law enforcement agencies, which often have high maintenance costs and may fall into disuse due to various economic and political reasons.
2.3 Key Elements of Effective Capacity Building Programs
Partnership is important because the program needs to have participation and backing from different sectors, mainly government, civil society, and the private sector, to ensure there is wide coordination in both the training and implementation of what has been learned. The wider coordination is required so that there is correlation with the national development plans and closer adaptability for any kind of policy changes.
The most vital element is that of ownership, where the program belongs to the beneficiaries who will manage and implement what they have learned. This is important because the people’s participation becomes a voluntary one as they are not being coerced to allocate a lot of time and effort into the training phases.
Key Elements in Effective Capacity Building
Time and again, we all have experienced capacity-building programs that have been hotchpotch with no real direction and without any real long-term outcomes and impact. There are several different indicators and measurements that can help determine whether or not a capacity-building program has been successful, and these will be discussed later. However, in order for any program to be successful, there are key ideas and elements that need to be adhered to throughout the lifespan of the program:
Before we can deliberate about the several kinds of capacity-building programs, we need to have an understanding of what is meant by capacity building. Capacity-building is a concept that can mean differently to the people who are engaged in capacity-building activities and the people who are the would-be recipients of those activities. If we are to use a standard definition, capacity-building is the process whereby individuals, organizations, institutions, and societies increase their abilities to perform core functions, solve problems, define and achieve objectives. This involves strengthened control over resources, be they human resources, finance, materials, and others. There is quite a strong belief that assisting in improving problem-solving and the ability to assume and manage risk eventually leads to self-sponsorship for the participants.
3. Best Practices in Maritime Law Enforcement
Although best practices can be found in various forms and conditions in different states, their universal characteristics can be concluded as the most effective way to enforce adherence to the rule of law. Therefore, it can be expected that best practices will lead to the best results in a lower rate of crime in the maritime sector.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and several international instruments on maritime security have recommended best practices as the correct way to implement law enforcement measures. These measures should be reasonable due to the resource constraints that every state faces, while providing a high deterrence effect to any would-be perpetrator, and should cause minimal disruption to bona fide activities in preserving the rule of law.
In the context of several challenging and non-traditional roles of law enforcement in the maritime environment, it is best described by Zorner and Mahan (2006) as the ability to apply the right resources in the right way at the right time to achieve the right objectives in the maritime sector. This definition is wide and flexible, but it often shows that no matter the complexity and diversity of law enforcement policies and operations, best practices should always be kept in mind as the final goal to achieve the maximum result of any operations.
3.1 Overview of Best Practices
Best practice is a rather elusive concept to define, and to some extent its value is that it is adaptable to different situations that the industry may encounter. However, OCIMF have gone some way to providing a universal definition that is generally accepted by all elements of the shipping industry: “Best Management Practice is the most effective and practical means by which an operation or process can achieve an objective; the most effective way of doing something that has been identified.” This is a very practical and systematic definition of a concept that is often dismissed as rhetorical or nostalgic. It implies that best practice solutions are not necessarily revolutionary, but are often based on the refinement and improvement of existing methods. In contrast to prescriptive regulation, best practice is about continually evolving. It implies an open learning process where mistakes are not necessarily failures and can provide vital lessons for improvement. The logical application of best practice should lead to a reduction in the gaps between the highest and lowest standards in an industry.
The term “best practices” was first coined in the health care sector and gradually moved on to other fields including maritime studies. “Best practice” is a relatively new concept in the field of marine activities, and for its promoters, one of the major challenges is to identify and promote its use in a commercially driven and diverse global industry. It is important to remember that best practice is not about creating an unrealistic picture of an ideal industry, but is about making realistic and tangible improvements on a systematic basis. After all, to be effective, it is widely accepted that best practice should be a driver for change. In the words of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), one of the principal standard setting organisations for the shipping industry, “It is acknowledged that in some areas the practices of even the best operators fall short of the Vision. This realisation provides the opportunity for the identification and adoption of Best Practices.”
3.2 Case Studies on Successful Implementations
The conference was reminded that successful implementation of best practices is crucial in a given situation or case where a state is required to uphold its obligation under international law. The failure of any given state to do this can result in proliferation of that violation and widespread practice in other states. To this end, a consultative process involving the Secretariats of SACEP and the CGPCS along with the UNODC was proposed between interested member states for conducting a legal needs assessment on an individual case by case basis. This process would ascertain the nature and gravity of the offence alleged in the given case and provide an expert opinion as to what mode of prosecution would best serve the interest of justice taking into account the available resources of the state if it were to act unilaterally.
If the case is referred to a best practice is currently in the implementation stage such as a regional so the penal forum match the gravity of the offence, consultative process would provide advice on the perceived success of the practice and whether the forum in question is a realistic long-term solution for that state and similar cases in the future.
If it is found that the case is simplest on less is practice of a state regarding it a matter to trial on it would be recommended that the state exercise its right to case simulation in so to test the practice of the tribunal and potential for an acquittal or conviction with minimum impact on the accused person or interrupt.
3.3 Lessons Learned from Previous Experiences
Whether from successful or failed attempts to provoke better practices for the promotion of maritime law enforcement, the experience gained is invaluable. This is probably more important or relevant in a field with such embryonic stages of development, where trial and error will be the most viable method of learning. It is essential to gather data and conclusions from a wide range of sources to help prevent the continuation of common errors in the methods of law enforcement used, particularly in environments where networking and the sharing of information is more difficult, such as at sea or in regions threatened by political instability. This aspect is especially important for developing regions looking to improve stability and security, as it would be unproductive for them to waste time and precious resources making the same mistakes that others have made in the past. In these aforementioned cases, the availability of previous case studies in law enforcement will be an important tool in the learning process of best practices, giving clear examples of the successes and failures and the solutions provided. This helps to funnel the best practices timeline to specific advice that can be used in training programs and further enhance a particular method of law enforcement. The understanding of cultural, historical, geographical, and economical influences on both the law to be enforced and methods in which it is enforced is another important element in ensuring that a useful mistake is not forgotten. This understanding will help to explain why certain methods did not work in the past and why some were highly successful. It also allows for more tailored law enforcement solutions, the effects of which can be measured in the future using the same criteria.
3.4 Current Challenges and Emerging Trends in Maritime Law Enforcement
The current challenges and emerging trends in maritime law enforcement are inextricably linked to the concepts of capacity building and best practices. Essentially, the challenges are a product of the failure to implement effective best practices and non-sustainable results of previous law enforcement efforts. Hence, the identification of challenges must lead to strategic planning to enhance capacity, through recommending the best practices highlighted earlier. It has already been identified that the priority issue is to prevent the increasing trend of crime in order to reach a level of deterrence. The recently documented trends in Southeast Asia, for example, the marked increase in reported sea theft incidents in the Singapore Straits in 2003 or the spillover of conflict in the Southern Philippines and Sulawesi Maluku in the forms of maritime kidnappings and illegal gun running. All are symptoms of an increasing trend of crime and lawlessness occurring in areas of relative weak law enforcement activity. Measures to directly prevent maritime crime generally require a certain level of coordinated law enforcement activity between countries concerned, through either joint or combined operations, or through the seeking of a legal mandate for intervention into another country’s jurisdiction. Any failure to sustain activity will revisit the same problems. This points to the need for specific best practices in conducting law enforcement operations and programs. But nonetheless, the ability to accomplish such enforcement requires a certain level of capability. Best described is the concept articulated by Malaysia in their efforts to solve the problem of maritime piracy in the late 1990s, labeled as the ‘root causes approach’. This refers to the need to provide alternative sources of income for poor coastal communities who turn to crime, as the most effective form of crime prevention. In the context of law enforcement, it means there are times when the best law enforcement action may be no action, until there is a capability to do so effectively. Any attempts to outrightly solve the problems of today without the right capability may be unsustainable best practices in themselves.
4. The Role of Capacity Building Programs in Promoting Best Practices
For specific agencies, institutional capacity building may involve strategic planning and human resource development, to enable more effective utilization of existing resources or the development and utilization of a specific resource to gain a comparative advantage. An example cited by Pakistan in the development of its Coast Guard was the development of management information systems to better utilize data for decision making in its operations, and to utilize the information as a resource in forming international linkages for assistance in capacity building. Other forms of capacity building assistance for Pakistan focused on the development of coast guard functions specific to the protection of coastal state interests, rather than naval functions of protecting against external aggression, through the provision of training and technical assistance in areas such as legal drafting and developing procedures for fisheries protection and preventing marine pollution.
Enhancing institutional capacity can involve any number of measures, from the establishment of a new agency, to legislative work required to enable the agency to perform its functions more effectively. Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Coordinating Committee (MECC) is a good example of a newly established body fulfilling a need to coordinate the activities of the many agencies involved in maritime law enforcement. MECC has received assistance from various sources including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop its capacity to plan and conduct operations to a standard where it will be capable of fulfilling its role in protecting Malaysia’s national interests in the maritime areas.
The role of capacity building in promoting best practices for maritime law enforcement in the regions is varied and complex, consisting of four general areas. These are: enhancing institutional capacity; strengthening operational capabilities; fostering international cooperation; and facilitating knowledge exchange and training. In general terms, different agencies require different capabilities, be they developing countries with very limited or no existing maritime enforcement assets, or countries whose agencies may have been in existence for some time, but have been rendered ineffective through resource reduction or as a result of the evolution of the problem and a lack of skills and knowledge to deal with it.
4.1 Enhancing Institutional Capacity
There have been very few capacity building programs in the region that have been able to develop the institutional capacity of the target country to a level that is sustainable once the program has been completed. This is despite the fact that institutional capacity has been described as the linchpin of development (Patel 1995:3) and has the potential to be a major strength for developing countries in the development and implementation of best practice. Instead, the usual approach has been to implement a specific project, such as the purchase of equipment and training in its use, without any long-term vision of how this project will fit with the overall strategy of the law enforcement agency involved or how the agency will need to develop to handle the implementation and maintenance of the new capability in the future. A focus on symptomatic tactical issues, rather than the underlying strategic considerations and organizational development required, has meant that agencies have often been tactically pushed into projects that they have neither wanted nor had the capacity to deal with in the long term, such as the aggressive patrolling of EEZs to prevent encroachments on fisheries which small Pacific Island Nations have often implemented using donor funding, yet have been unable to sustain and at times there has been mission creep where the focus of a project has moved so far from the original intent that it has been forgotten.
4.2 Strengthening Operational Capabilities
Operational capability is a broad concept and in the context of law enforcement it refers to the ability to successfully plan and conduct operations that result in the desired outcome. It involves having the right mix of knowledge, skills, people and equipment, applied in a manner that is both efficient and effective. This concept is echoed in best practices for law enforcement which seek to bring criminals to justice by using intelligence in the most effective and efficient manner possible (International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime). In many developing states, their existing law enforcement agencies lack operational capacity and in some cases they do not exist at all. This is especially true for maritime enforcement agencies and the vastness of the sea makes it a very difficult environment in which to conduct effective law enforcement. The result is that illegal activities at sea go unpunished and laws are rendered ineffective.
Capable responses are needed to the intelligence brought by intelligence-led maritime law enforcement. It is not enough to have an understanding of the problems and risks associated with criminal activities at sea; rather, there is a need to be able to convert this knowledge into successful enforcement action. Capacity building programs can aid in this process by assisting governments and law enforcement agencies to develop the capabilities required to enforce the law at sea. This can be achieved through a variety of means, the most direct of which are programs aimed at strengthening the operational capabilities of relevant agencies.
4.3 Fostering International Cooperation
The sharing of information is fundamental in any form of law enforcement. It is essential that regional states have effective channels for communicating and sharing intelligence with one another. This not only involves the means of transmission of information but also the development of trust between agencies in the sharing of sensitive information. Steps should be taken to improve or develop new information sharing networks between law enforcement agencies in the region. This can involve the linking of pre-existing national networks to the creation of new regional networks. An example of this is the ASEAN Narcotics Law Enforcement Agencies Network. This is a global situation where an essay can develop an all-encompassing theme to the tribute of the main objective of the article. Here often international technical assistance is sought in the establishment of such programs. Measures can also be taken to make certain that there is better coordination between international and national information sharing initiatives.
Given the transnational nature of crime, fostering international cooperation in maritime law enforcement is crucial. Programs that are focused on improving regional law enforcement capacity should be aimed at developing methods and means of sharing information, equipment, and personnel between states concerned. Accordingly, intelligence-led enforcement involving the sharing of intelligence and the conduct of operations in conjunction with neighboring states should be promoted. It is widely accepted that effective international cooperation comes about as a result of good relations. Thus, law enforcement capacity-building programs should encourage and facilitate diplomatic and informal meetings between regional states to foster good relations and improve mutual understanding.
4.4 Facilitating Knowledge Exchange and Training
As Simon (1998:1) states, “policy change is unlikely to be effective or sustainable unless those responsible for implementing and delivering new policies have the motivation, confidence, and trust to take the necessary actions, and the readiness and ability to learn from what they are doing.” This is particularly relevant when considering the results of a United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) survey, which revealed the fact that the public can perceive law enforcement agencies in a negative light. To the extent that confidence and trust in some of these agencies has been lost due to corrupt practices and bases of power. Confidence and trust have to be rebuilt by the agencies themselves, and a well-educated and well-trained workforce will be the only way to do so. This will be a long process, so the sustainability of acquiring good practices in the long term is the principal target for policing, and the development of best practices through capacity building programs will be the initial crucial step to doing so.
Capacity building programs essentially aim to enable target groups to identify and solve problems by themselves, and to ensure that the target group can continue to do so. These programs are the crucial first step in improving maritime law enforcement through sustainable development. The point to note is that capacity building includes a range of actions that can help prepare the way for policy change as well as consolidating or sustaining the effects of new policies.

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