Do You Want To Be Safer?
Now you can contribute in the fight against crime in your neighbourhood. You should not only be able to live without fear of crime but also be responsible for keeping your community safe.
What Is Community Policing?
Community Policing is an approach to policing that recognizes the independence and shared responsibility of the Police and the Community in ensuring a safe and secure environment for all citizens. It aims at establishing an active and equal partnership between the Police and the public through which crime and community safety issues can jointly be discussed and solutions determined and implemented.
How does community policing work?
• Creation of understanding between the police and the community about their role in crime prevention.
• Supplementing police patrols through private guards and neighbourhood watch groups.
• Education, capacity building, enhancing Kenya Police personnel and members of the community to enable constructive participation in addressing the problems of crime.
• Forming community policing victim support centres.
• Training response teams (units).
• Improving street lighting (security lights) to reduce crime.
• Evaluating community policing programmes.
• Giving special attention to vulnerable groups who are most likely to become victims e.g. women and children.
• Share responsibility and decision-making as well as sustainined commitment from both the police and community, with regard to safety and security needs.
• Enhancement of accountability of the police to the community they serve.
• Resolving conflict between and within community groupings in a manner which enhances peace and stability.
• Basing problem solving activities on a consultative approach that constantly seeks to approve responsiveness to identified community needs.
• Participation of all members of the Kenya Police in community policing and problem solving initiatives.
• Ensuring that community policing informs, guide and sustain all policing activities.
Back to top
What is your role?
• Volunteer information on suspicious characters or activities.
• Information remains the most effective tool hence volunteers it.
• Work closely with the Police through Community Policing Forums.
• Helping the police to help you by offering any kind of support.
• Encourage greater contacts between neighbours.
• Supporting the victims of crime through counselling.
• Safeguarding your own neighbourhoods. E.g. by forming security watch schemes.
• Security begins with one-self; hence you should be alert always.
• Never take the law into your hands.
What is the role of the police?
• Communicate with the community
• Give feedback
• Listen more and understand public needs
• Being problem solvers
• Being transparent, accountable and effective
• Being professional in carrying out Police duties
• Helping in formation of CPF’s
• Maintenance of law and order in crime prevention strategies.
• Enforcement of law and order
• Patrolling in their beat areas effectively
How to start a Community Policing Forum (CPF)
A Community Policing Forum (CPF) is a group of people from the Police and different committees (local leaders, residents, and community based organizations) who meet to identify and solve problems in their areas.
The Community Policing Forums can be established in residential places, business areas and estates near local Police Stations for easy communications and complementary support.
Points to note:
• First identify the problems that affect your community
• Contact Community Policing Unit (C.P.U)
• Organize joint sensitization workshops together with C.P.U
• Plan and implement community policing programmes
• Monitor and evaluate through the committees formed
Back to top
How effective is Community Policing?
• Knowledge of the crime to be reduced
• Know crime spots(locations)
• Know the criminals
• Know other problems of the area
• Know timing of criminal activities
• Find solutions to the local problems
How Community Policing will benefit you?
• Develop closer liaison between Police and the public thereby improving their relationship and removing fear of Police
• Enhance public confidence and trust in the Police ability to control crime
• Encourage public participation thereby reducing the demand upon Police Service
• Encourage property marking
• Improved crime reporting
• Reduction in the rate of crime
• Create public awareness on the need to safe guard their own neighborhoods.
• Encourage greater contact between neighbors and promotes community participation hence provide room for innovation and creativity.
• Reduced fear of crime
• Reduced complaints against police
• Help to cultivate public spirit in assisting police in combating crime
What are the Tenets of Community Policing?
• Commitment to prevent crime
• Ensuring police accountability and openness to the public
• Customized police services
• Community organization.
STANDING OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR COMMUNITY POLICING
The Police are the most visible institution of the security sector and their functions impact on the entire citizenry. Community policing is a new style of policing that is responsive to the needs of local communities; a force multiplier that contributes to conflict management.
Within the context of the Police Reforms, the Police are equally required to display a complete attitudinal transformation. A police that is seen to have changed its character, making a break from past practices and working in partnership with communities offers profound resonance to creating a partnership. But the Police will not build legitimacy in a society where a uniformed officer is more a cause for fear than a source of protection. Where legacies of mistrust are not overcome, creating a new culture of trust and cooperation will be difficult to forge. Community policing is therefore predicated on shedding suspicion and stereotypes and forging a working relations.
Community policing is not a one time venture but a continuous process.
Back to top
WHAT IS COMMUNITY POLICING?
Community policing is both a philosophy (a way of thinking) and an organizational strategy (a means to implement out that philosophy), that allows the police and community to work together to solve problems of crime and insecurity. Community policing rests on two core pillars:
a. Adopting policing practices that involve communities in making decisions about their own security.
b Establish a long-term partnership between communities and the Police.
The following are the fundamental principles of community policing:
a. Policing by consent rather than by coercion.
b. The police and the community working together.
c. Identifying the security priorities of the community.
d. Tailoring policing to meet community needs and priorities.
The successful implementation of community policing requires a monumental leap of faith by both the police and the public and a commitment to effect change. It is also a complex process that requires action to be taken at multiple levels and the requisite planning to translate the strategy into practice, both within the Kenya Police and among the public. It is critical that communities set realistic and achievable objectives in this venture.
The Kenya Police has conducted the necessary training in the contents and the modalities of community policing, specifically targeting the middle and lower rank officers, who will be charged with implementing this strategy.
The greatest handicap in community policing is transcending the shift in paradigm necessary for attitudinal transformation from the current adversarial posture characterized by mistrust and mutual blame to one of partnership and cooperation. Ultimately, the objective is to isolate criminals.
OPERATIONALIZING COMMUNITY POLICING
a. The community will be responsible for mobilization and organization of the community committees they select to engage their Police Station on crime prevention.
b. Community policing encourages broad, but not unlimited role for the community and sets to guard against creating unrealistic expectations of police.
c. The community must reciprocate by providing criminal intelligence and cooperating with the Police.
d. The Police mandate will be determined on a problem by problem basis within the context of the specific problem being addressed.
e. The Police will encourage input from community while preserving ultimate decision in cognizance of its functions in law.
f. Both the community and the Police must create a working partnership and mutual confidence to solve security problems and desist from unnecessarily blaming each other.
PROGRAM DESIGN AND PLANNING
The planning and design of this strategy has been tailor-made to address circumstances peculiar to each community. Each party will need to be clear on the principles of community policing, while remaining flexible about adapting it to the context of their localities.
Back to top
DEFINING PRIORITIES OF THE ENGAGEMENT
The definition of priorities of the engagement should include:
a. Key safety and security challenges that emanate from the community’s assessment of its priorities.
b. Particular areas of focus, such as specific safety and security problems relating to a particular region or social group.
c. Security advice by the Police.
The Kenya Police has identified the following as the initial objectives necessary to roll out the community policing strategy. These form the baseline requirements that are common to all communities nationally.
This includes the following:
a. Immediate formation of community policing committees.
b. Identification of critical areas of local intervention in keeping with needs of each community.
c. Gathering of criminal intelligence.
d. Safeguarding the identity of informers.
e. Create a standardized operating procedure in conducting Community Policing meetings.
Back to top
SETTING BENCHMARKS AND INDICATORS FOR EVALUATION
The Kenya Police has set internal benchmarks and indicators to monitor the implementation. These are simple, realistic and inexpensive measures. The indicators should comprise:
a. A balanced checklist of activities.
b. Responsiveness or resistance by the Police or community.
c. Statistics of implementation in terms of crime reduction.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION MECHANISMS
Creating conflict resolution mechanisms is a key tenet of our Community Policing strategy that enables the Police to solve disputes or conflicts in partnership with the communities they serve. This is a collaborative measure that does not prevent parties from going to court to seek legal redress. Conflict resolution mechanisms include:
a. Village or community committees that enable the Police to conduct collaborative conflict resolution.
b. Linkages between these mechanisms and Government structures like District Security Committees.
Back to top
MANAGING THE IMPLEMENTATION
The Kenya Police will monitor the progress of the strategy through its chain of command, particularly during its early stages. Important features will include:
a. Pilot Projects – Pilot activities will be conducted to and replicable in other Stations. Such pilot projects offer the opportunity to test approaches and re-adjust if necessary.
b. Accountability Structures – Each Community Policing committee will be accountable to its own community through accountability structures that include internal review meetings and mechanisms and community barazas. Each community will prioritize its own work plans.
Community-Based Policing can be a cement for security and development. A Police Force supported by the community and capable of arresting insecurity can have a far-reaching impact in enabling a lasting economic, social and political development. However, as international efforts have so far indicated, reforming a Police organization, re-orienting their shoddy public image and improving their service delivery, means facing daunting political, financial, logistical and historical obstacles.
Achieving lasting and effective reform requires addressing issues of management, leadership, political will, set attitudes, established behaviours and negative public perceptions. It's very complexity can be intimidating. Nonetheless, its centrality means that it is an issue that cannot be shied away from.
With Police reforms now undertaken, it is paramount that there should be a clear understanding of what it entails and how is should be undertaken. It is hoped that this guide will be useful in both situating Community-Based Police reform within border policy debates, and guiding those planning the implementation.