Law enforcement and public health approaches in the Asia-Pacific region
Keywords:Policing system, harm reduction, public safety
The Asia-Pacific region comprises a large number of countries, all with different policing systems and variations in the extent to which these agencies collaborate with multisectoral partners in response to public health–related issues, including harm reduction, gender-based violence, mental health, and COVID-19 pandemic responses. We reviewed 90 programs involving partnerships and cooperation between law enforcement and public health agencies across the region. From this review, we recommend that police agencies develop training and engage in collaborative engagement with a range of health and community stakeholders to evolve police officers’ views towards a public health perspective in relation to policing activities. Furthermore, law enforcement and public health approaches should embrace technological advancement and innovation to promote both public safety and community health. As a specific example, different areas have employed different strategies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly depending upon available resources and
cultural and social factors. However, more collaboration between government agencies, the private sector, and NGOs is needed at national and local levels to effectively respond to the pandemic worldwide.
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