EuroCOP 2nd Vice President Unn Alma Skatvold wants to ensure members collaborate with each other to help protect officers’ rights and their safety on Europe’s frontlines.
Unn Alma was appointed 2nd VP at EuroCOP at the Porto conference earlier this year, and although she is holding the role only until November, she hopes to have a positive influence on European policing.
With officers facing more assaults and differing types of crime it’s vital, she says, that members work together to find the solutions.
“I only have this role until the congress in November so I will do my very best to get an overview of all the possibilities that Eurocop could be a part of if we use our resources and energy right,” she said.
“It is also important to understand why the member organisations want to be a part of EuroCOP, and how we can develop the organisation further.
“I will have a role in ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) too, and I think we can develop our role there,” she added.
Part of her plans is to ensure Northern members’ experience is shared across the union.
“I really want to bring more of the experiences of our northern police unions into EuroCOP. [Officers there] have better terms and conditions in many areas, and I know that this has to do with how the employers and employees collaborate in our part of Europe,” she said.
“That can give officers better conditions, but also residents there have high confidence in policing, and they have greater achievements.
“With my new role, I can try to influence these collaborations and hopefully then get better conditions for EuroCOP’s members.”
On officer, since 1996 Unn Alma has real frontline policing experience having worked on border control, human trafficking and narcotics teams in her native Norway.
She’s also been Vice President of the Norwegian Police Federation for the past seven years.
A drop in respect for officers and an increase in harsher working conditions is something she’s determined to improve.
“Rougher crime and new crime is resulting in tougher conditions for officers; their security, safety and working environment,” she said.
“The solution for a quick fix is often to exploit the workers even more. Reforms and reorganisations are the easy answers, and the distance between our leaders and officers, the police and the residents they protect – that feeling of affiliation gets lost on the way.
“As a union, we struggle with this every day- because in the end, every worker in the police wants to do a good job and they want to help people. But their important job is not reflected in the salary; people want to work in the police because it is a meaningful job. If you take that meaning away, we will have a problem recruiting,” Unn Alma added.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know more of the member organisations and their conditions better and understanding the differences and similarities we have within EuroCOP.”
“I’d like to bring more attention to the challenges we face together. EuroCOP as one organisation, can try to change something on behalf of the members. I think we have more strength and I hope I can help to put that strength together and using it for common goals.”