SWaPOL Social work and policing

Vocational training in public order management



Günter Stummvoll


Cornelius (Cees) Goos, Kai Leichsenring, Willem Stamatiou


Marginalised people in public space are the target of many professions, including the police, social work, public transport authorities and others. Traditionally, public space is managed by the public authorities, carried out by the police as the dominant body of public order management. However, in the course of administrative reforms, more and more stakeholders with different intentions and ideologies participate in the governance of public order. With an emphasis on the promotion of health and care social workers represent the counterpart to the police as the agent of law enforcement.


Our aim in this project is to contribute to the development of high-quality skills and competences for a better cooperation of the two professions of social work and police.

The core output of this project is a Training Package in Social Work and Policing, including a training schedule for a 2+3 days training course and respective teaching material such as didactical manuals and documentary material of best practice examples in the partner countries. In addition to conventional teaching aids (textbook) the teaching and training package will consider the development of instruments for multi-media teaching (training videos, footage of case studies) and practical exercises (role-play, excursions, field trips). Altogether, the training shall be interesting and joyful.

The Handbook for trainers will contain several sections:

  • Introduction
  • “Themes and settings” for cooperation in social work and policing
  • Didactical exercises
  • Teaching schedule for SWaPOL training
  • Conclusion

Several annexes with review questions for students, monitoring guidelines and references will be added. The product will have approximately 100-150 pages.


  • Collection of existing experiences from national pilot projects
  • Identification of “themes & settings”: Drug addicts at railway stations, homeless people in metro stations, youth groups in shopping centres, user conflicts in public parks, etc.; legal versus illegal behaviour, health issues, strategies of de-escalation, limits of cooperation, data management etc.
  • Partners develop didactical exercises in separate modules as elements of the overall SWaPOL training package
  • Test run of the training package in each partner country
  • Finalisation of training package and publication of teaching material


  • Milestone 1: All project partners are informed about experiences from pilot projects in other countries and "themes and settings" have been elaborated
  • Milestone 2: Didactical exercises and teaching material are laid down in modules
  • Milestone 3: Pilot Course carried out in all partner countries
  • Milestone 4: Teaching material completed


Sufficient time will be dedicated to networking and dissemination activities:

  1. Reaching out for other training institutions in social work and in other police units in the partner countries, where the SWaPOL training package may be implemented, and
  2. Collaboration with international associations and networks in the field of social work (EASSW European Association of Schools in Social Work EASSW), in the field of policing (EUCPN European Crime Prevention Network; CEPOL European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training), and in the field of security and public order management of urban spaces (e.g. EFUS European Forum for Urban Security).

The European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research supports the Sustainable Development Goals

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UN SDG Good Health and Well-Being
UN SDG Reduced Inequalities