How to make a complaint?

The online service of communication with the police marked 100 days of its operation in late September. The platform, where the residents of Kyiv can complain about security problems and to receive recommendations from the police and authorities, was launched by DreamKyiv with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation at the end of May 2017.

Map of problems

The basis of the service is a Google map which the users can mark the security problems in. To create a request, one should enter the address, where the problem exists, describe it and send it for processing. After the website administrator verifies the information, a red sign with a question mark appears on the map. When an answer is given to the request, the mark becomes green. In such a way, you can find out about the security situation on your street and look at the problems of other districts of the city.

"After a person sends the request, it gets into the administrative panel. The moderator reads it and decides whether to publish it on the site or not. So far, we have published all the incoming requests. This is the positive dynamics," says Anastasiya Bahniy, the project coordinator at DreamKyiv and the service moderator.

Most often people complain about unregulated street trading, violation of traffic rules, problems with roads (quality of asphalt, road marking, absence of signs), illegal drug trafficking (dens in entrances of apartment buildings and ads in Telegram), behavior of owners of large dogs, violation of public order (noisy cliques hanging out in the yards at night) and ask to correct the police patrol routes.

DreamKyiv has established cooperation with the contact office of the Kyiv City State Administration 1551, the city's Patrol Police as well as with the specialists of the legal clinics of the National Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and free legal advice centers. Lawyers explain how a problem, raised in the request, can be solved.

"When the request reaches the site, the administrator contacts the competent authorities to get a response. When the response arrives, it is entered into the profile of the request, and the person who formed it and all other users of the service can already see it," Anastasiya Bahniy explains.

"The service frees the police of a lot of senseless questions that are beyond their competence," Patrol Police spokesman Yevhen Mamushkin says.

Recently, the users have obtained an opportunity to rate and comment on the answers in the request profiles. Now the project team will know if the advice is useful.

Raising legal awareness

In most cases, users are advised to write official appeals to the public utilities. Anastasia Bahniy explains: the service aims not to solve problems, but to encourage citizens to be active.

"On the one hand, the service responds to specific requests: it provides clear answers, recommendations and explanations. On the other hand, it demonstrates the global urban problems, which the police, the local authorities and the community need to work together on. So, one of our tasks is to initiate such a trilateral cooperation," she says.

The service moderator emphasizes: citizens need to learn how to solve security problems on their own, without waiting for the authorities or the police to do so.

"We still have a patriarchal attitude towards the authorities. However, the police cannot solve problems without the help of the community. Citizens need to be active," Yevhen Mamushkin emphasizes.

The analysis of requests shows that people often do not understand that the police are not responsible for solving the problems of road marking or installing video cameras. So, one of the main tasks of the service is to help the residents of Kyiv understand how to act and whom to address to solve one or another problem.

A new service – “E-cabinet of district police officer" is expected to appear on the website in the future. The users will be able to find out the contacts of their district police officer and to write private messages to him.

Spreading experience

Any person, who is ready to be responsible for the support of the site, can "connect" their city to the service, says Anastasia Bahniy.

"As of now, we have almost formal agreements with three cities: Ternopil, Poltava and Mykolayiv. In Ternopil, the launch of the service was initiated by the city authorities, in Poltava – by the patrol police, and we received letters from four different people from Mykolayiv," she adds.

The letters also came from Mariupol, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. The service moderator explains: the one, who initiates the launch of the project in their city, should ensure the permanent administration of the platform. For its part, DreamKyiv team is ready to teach new people how to work with the resource, organize the media launch and establish cooperation with partners.

Source: Human Rights Information Centre

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