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Home / Latest News / Former Cardiff CID chief helps Libyans find their way towards democracy
Libyan police

Former Cardiff CID chief helps Libyans find their way towards democracy

After working as a police advisor in Afghanistan and Iraq, a former senior police officer is now passing on his skills in Libya.

Geoff Cooper worked for South Wales Police for 32 years but has spent the past few years working in countries torn apart by war.

Mr Cooper has been working in the Libyan capital of Tripoli since January as part of the security and justice reform programme run by the Department for International Development.

The 54-year-old, from Cardiff, is a UK advisor to the Deputy Minister of Interior for Security – the head of the Libyan Police.

His main aim is to help the deputy minister develop his vision of how the Libyan police force should look as it moves into a new era post-revolution.

Mr Cooper works alongside a colleague from Sussex to help develop a model of policing in Tripoli based on what the people want. It’s hoped this model could then be used as an example of best practice throughout Libya.

Mr Cooper said this is at an early stage but that it is looking at what the Libyans need, engaging with the community and maintaining trust.

Mr Cooper said: “There are set backs sometimes because of the security situation.

“Democracy there is quite young so sometimes there will be demonstrations taken to government buildings and this all impacts on what we’re doing but there has been significant process. There’s a desire to move forward from the Libyans.

“There are some considerable challenges but there are also some considerable opportunities.”

Mr Cooper, who held various senior roles at South Wales Police, including being the head of CID for three years, was awarded an OBE in January for his services to the development of policing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Without the support of my wife Deb and my daughters Claire and Laura, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Their continued support is what enables me to work overseas and carry on,” he said.

He said it is challenging work and long hours but said his career gave him the skills to pass on and said the job is “hugely rewarding”.

Mr Cooper, who returned home to Cardiff for a few days last week before returning to Libya, said: “When you come home to Wales and you see the scenery and the safety of the area, it’s a lovely feeling. I don’t think people realise how lucky we are.”

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