Current Public Administration Magazine (July - 2014) - "Police Administration" - Community Policing (CP)

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Community Policing (CP)

CP is a project initiated and implemented by the police in active partnership with the local community / neighbourhood / citizen groups / business community for identifying the needs and solving issues related to the common safety and security requirements of the local community.

"To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police. The police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen." Sir Robert Peel: (Father of Modern Policing)

Objectives of Community Policing:

  • Improving the quality of life and ensuring safer living conditions by motivating and facilitating community members and other community interest groups to organize themselves into problem solving groups in partnership with the police

  • Educating people on their rights, eligibilities and responsibilities in relation to criminal law
  • Fostering a sense of respect for the legal process and eliminate fear of police in the minds of the people

Benefits of Community Policing:

  • Improved community initiative and response for crime prevention, problem solving and conflict resolution
  • Enhanced community support for policing efforts
  • Improved public safety and sense of security in the community
  • Reduced fear of crime
  • Improved law abiding nature in the community
  • Improved sense of voluntarism in the community to solve common problems through collective approaches
  • Enhanced trust, improved credibility and image of the police

A clear statement of beliefs and goals gives direction to the Police and the community and helps ensure that values are transformed into appropriate actions and behaviours.

Core Values and Principles :

  • Broadened commitment to public safety and security
  • Fostering mutual Trust between the Police and the Community
  • The community policing projects will be implemented cooperatively by police, other agencies and the community
  • All the project transactions will be transparently communicated, documented and published
  • All the personnel involve in the project will practice integrity and not take undue advantage of the situations/ issues for their personal benefits
  • Every member of the project should take initiative and responsibility for achieving focused results
  • Members will exercise discretion while communicating or in actions showing integrity of their behaviour
  • Collective Leadership
  • All members of the project will respect the community issues, values and the culture as expressions of realities in a democratic, multi-cultural society, such as India.

Community Policing Project (CPP) Management Skills:

  • Develop a strategy on which aspects and which localities it is desirable to take up community policing activities
  • Develop a CPP Team consisting of 3-4 persons (from among SIs, ASIs, HCs and PCs in the police station) as CPP project monitoring team.
  • Mobilize the support of the local communities (3-4 locations).
  • Communicating the CPP Values.This should be widely disseminated
  • Select a Message and an Image (logo) for the CPPs in your PS.

Deployment of Personnel

Permanent or long-term shifts and beat assignments must be instituted if patrol officers are to form lasting and productive partnerships with the community. Community policing depends on this stability. In addition, community boundaries should be carefully drawn to preserve the integrity of existing neighbourhoods and to encourage cooperation within the community. Civilians could also be hired for support positions not requiring policing skills, in order to reassign police personnel to community patrols.

Human Resource Development

Training is the key to effective implementation of community policing. Training should communicate and reinforce the changes taking place in organizational values and policies, and should help build consensus, resolve, and unity both inside and outside the police organization.

Performance Evaluation and Reward

Performance evaluation can be a valuable management tool for facilitating change and can help communicate agency priorities to employees.

Workload Control and Information Systems

The problem-solving orientation of community policing requires a greater emphasis on analytic skills and expert systems management to obtain the most valuable information support. Information support will have to be provided for problems that have not been previously studied and for the incorporation of data from outside the department. Analysis must go beyond identifying and forecasting crime patterns; seeks to identify factors that contribute to crime and non-crime problems. Strategic analysis is a natural by    -product of the problem-oriented approach. Strategic analysts should attempt to identify why problems exist in neighbourhoods as well as identify the conditions that contribute to and perpetuate crime. This information will certainly prove useful in the planning and implementation of tactical responses and crime prevention strategies.

Assessing the progress of community policing

The assessment process should consider all the following dimensions and be properly documented. It is also better to engage a third party agency to properly evaluate the project progress and provide periodic feedback to the project team. Corrective and improvement actions are the joint responsibility of the total teams.

Courtesy : Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad

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