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Community Policing Programme2011

Partners: Asia Foundation

Community policing encourages police personnel to work in close partnership communities they serve. Effective problem solving requires that the police engage the community to both to identify and solve local problems, by forming partnerships with a range of grassroots actors.Arguably, this would allow for increased community engagement on local initiatives, provide for better emergency response mechanisms and build capacities with respect to conflict prevention and resolution at both the police and community level.At present, RECDO has strengthened three community police committees and established a routine of regular monthly meetings. The programme has also created wider social awareness of community policing and has gone on to establishing complaint boxes in visible areas and informed community members. It is hoped that this system enables a more robust bottom-up feedback loop that, at the same time maintains the anonymity of victims and concerned individuals in sensitive contexts.

The project

RECDO first started its work by facilitating the development and introduction of community policing strategies within threecommunity policing committee (CPC) networks. The necessary governance and procedural practices that were put in place also allowed the organic formation of sub-committees. These sub-committees were created and convened after the most pressing safety and security issues in the community were identified and prioritized collectively. Once the CPCs started functioning, the action plan was implemented which called for monthly meetings, created opportunities for police-community joint patrols, and the running of mobile police services, and community awareness campaigns.

Ongoing challenges

Throughout its implementation, RECDO has met with a number of small challenges. The Kantale Police Area is also Kantale Police Headquarters which is a busy station that covers a vast area in Kantale. Police officers are not always able to attend Community Policy Committee meetings on a regular basis, as they tend to be busy with their daily duties.Most police personnel are responsible for more than one GN Division.Meaningfully engaging Divisional and District level authorities also remains a challenge. In the future, RECDO plans on expanding itstraining capacity to includehigher-ranking government officials so that they may have the same knowledge as officials operating at GN level. This will ensure that the Divisional and District level understands the concept and practice of community policing and can help strengthen a more enabling environment for theCPC and its members to function in. In order for community policing to be a sustainable long-term community driven effort, all government stakeholders need to have an understanding of its importance.