When Lucien Stöpler worked in developing countries struggling to protect children against exploitation, there were insufficient police and care organisations. So he and his team asked help from friendly neighbors, helpful teachers, wise elderly and anyone else that cared about these children. They trained together how to keep an eye open and act in case of trouble and found a few police officers that could act as contact. It resulted in the most succesful safety and well-being organisation he was to see there ánd in the developed. It doesn’t just take a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to protect it.
And the principle is applicable in other areas. Working later at the national police he saw that major organised crime syndicates were fairly well-known by people in whose neighborhood they lived. When a team would make an arrest and he would hear witnesses say something like: “Thats…! We always knew he was involved in crime.” Improving contact with communities, police could seriously improve their effectiveness. Often times, they spent years meticulously collecting information while it was already available at the neighbors!
That’s when he started Justice in Practice, a Foundation since 2018. It is based on the principle that everyone is part of some community with something that they care about. These communities are what really structure society, more than government and regulations.
Justice in Practice Foundation helps governments connect with communities and vice versa.