Policing is currently at a critical juncture in South Asia. Worldwide, the role of policing is rapidly changing and no longer confined to maintenance of law and order and prevention and detection of crime, with police now playing a vital role in disaster management, environment, ecotourism, bio-diversity conservation. These have enormous impacts on state economy and development, while having massive implications on the nations security and prosperity. Policing across South Asia, to a large extent has experienced similar issues, and most strikingly the forces have lacked confidence in the public’s eye. This is particularly regrettable, given the significant, necessary, and most importantly, laudable work that the police force continuously engages in. Spanning across security activities such as enforcing the law, preventing crime, tracking drug traffickers, and combatting terrorism, the work of the police force remains a crucial and an often unappreciated one. Special emphasis therefore needs to be made in looking towards the future; gathering the already pre-existing best-practices within the region, honing and streamlining levels of professionalism within the police forces, and tackling the underlying flaws within the system. Above all, tthe marginal successes of South Asian nations when adequately and proactively responding to the urgent need for policing reforms; the common roots from which their policing acts come; the overlapping issues that each country faces; and the growing support for collective and integrated action, all provide an opportune moment to look at the future of policing in the region. Particularly this is posited, with the motivation of finding a South Asian model to policing, which can be adopted to better suit the diversities and norms of the nations.

This conference of the highest-ranking Police Officials of South Asia and several other foreign Police Chiefs, as well as regional and international Scholars/Experts is an event organised jointly by the National Police Commission, the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies and the Sri Lanka Police, in collaboration with the United Nations, coinciding with the 150th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Police. It is hoped that this parley will pave way for a continued regional platform for the highest-ranking Police officials and scholars working on security sector reforms.

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