Examining What Is Community Policing For Criminology Essay

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Bob Trojanowicz described community policing as: "a philosophy of full-service, personalized policing where the same officer patrols and works in the same area on a permanent basis, from a decentralized place, working in a proactive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems".

So community policing is any method of policing that includes a police officer assigned to the same area, meeting and working with the residents and business people who live and work in the beat area. The citizens and police work together to identify the problems of the area and to collaborate in workable resolutions of the problems. The police officer is a catalyst, moving neighborhoods and communities toward solving their own problems, and encouraging citizens to help and look out for each other.

To be successful, community policing requires the total commitment of the big five, the police, citizens and subgroups tike business, media, political leaders and social service agencies and other institutions of the community. It is proactive, decentralized and personalized; it is full-service and works toward the goal of removing predators from the streets and solving long-term problems by dealing with the causes, not just reacting to the symptoms.

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Community policing is based on the joint effort of citizens and police toward solving neighborhood problems which in turn satisfies the expressed needs of citizens and enhance the resident's quality of life. The community policing officer assists the residents by meeting with them individually and in groups in hopes that communication will lead to some consensus of accepted action will be agreed upon and implemented by the residents. The major considerations in community policing are: citizen input into defining problems to be solved, citizen involvement in planning and implementing problem solving activities, and citizens determining if their felt needs have been met.

Community policing can also be defined as:

Community policing is an organizational wide philosophy and management approach that promotes community, government and police partnerships; proactive problem-solving; and community engagement to address the causes of crime, fear of crime and other community issues.

So, one of the more important aspects of Community Policing is the proactive, rather than reactive styles of policing. In a reactive police department, the officers respond almost exclusively to incidents of crime and calls for service as the need arises. Usually, these incidents are of an emergency nature and action must be swift and not well planned in advance. On the other hand a proactive police department will recognize the areas of greatest concern and take steps that will lead to a reduction in the frequency, and seriousness, of incidents in those areas of concern.

To accomplish these goals, the police department must work hand in hand with community leaders, religious groups, service clubs and other governmental agencies within the community. Specific concerns must be defined. Problem solving strategies need to be designed. And most important, these plans for improvement must be evaluated frequently to gauge their effectiveness

WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF COMMUNITY POLICING?

Community Oriented Policing is a matter of giving people what they deserve. The innocent deserve the highest level of protection we can give. They also have the right to feel secure, and this may be as important as actually being secure. The guilty, on the Project Report Community Policing other hand, must feel that criminal acts will be discovered and prosecuted, or at the very least they will become an object of our unremitting attention In essence, levels of crime diminish as quality-of-life in the community improves.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF COMMUNITY POLICING?

The fear of crime is reduced and quality-of-life is improved.

The police become more accountable and effective.

HOW DOES COMMUNITY POLICING MAKE POLICE MORE EFFECTIVE?

Crime is a complex social problem that cannot be solved by any single agency. When we recognize the complexity of the crime problem, we also acknowledge the police are not solely responsibility for its solution. We realize it would be unfair to hold an individual officer, or even a police department, responsible for the crime rate. We are then confronted with a dilemma as to where responsibility should be assigned. Unfortunately, the traditional approach to crime control invests all anti-crime efforts in the police The police embraced the role of crime-fighter but retreated from responsible for rising crime rates. The police were often quick to take credit for success but shun responsibility for failure. Community policing seeks to address crime without being overwhelmed by the effort. The crime problem is de-constructed into manageable pieces. Officers become responsible for smaller geographic areas and projects. By narrowing the approach, trouble spots can be identified and problem-solving progress measured. Officers work with, rather than against, the public. They develop relationships with community members and become accountable to the community, as well as to their departments.

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AS officers address problems of social and physical disorder, criminogenic conditions diminish. The cumulative effect of improving quality-of-life in the community reduces the levels of crime. In the process, the police become more effective crime-fighters.

EVALUATING POLICE OFFICERS

In Traditional Vs Community policing.

Traditional policing departments have long defined their primary mission, and therefore their overall effectiveness, in terms of crime fighting. This all too often leaves police officials no choice but to apologize that increases in the crime rate are not their fault - and to claim victory for declines that may or may not have much to do with police activity.

The danger is that this will lead to policing by and for the numbers - over valuing quantitative results and under valuing qualitative outcomes. It promotes an evaluation system that would, for example, ignore the contributions of an officer who takes the time to cut red tape and convince a young burglary suspect to enroll in drug treatment. At the same time, even if that was likely to do little more than engage the rest of the expensive criminal Justice system to little effect.

How does the police department record, compile, and codify incidents such as when the officer got the young man into drug treatment? Community policing, in contrast to the traditional systems, focuses on solving the problems rather than on generating arrest statistics; quality not quantity. It shifts creative problem solving -which the police have always done - from being an informal part of the job to the essence of formal police work. As this suggests, the challenge is to find ways to capture and present community police successes, along with the traditional kinds of data that the police have always kept and will continue to need to keep.

In professional jargon, the evaluation in most police departments is risk averse- just don't let us hear any bad or embarrassing news and you will score okay. Adopting community policing as a department wide approach requires modifying the performance evaluations of virtually everyone in the department to reflect how well they are expressing this new philosophy in their work. However, it is a community officer out on beat who most completely and directly expresses the performance evaluation for the community policing officer's job; the changes that should be made in all the other performance evaluations would logically flow from that example.

Obviously, performance evaluations should be based on behavior as much as possible eliminates bias and prejudice. Soliciting support from officers for performance evaluation is effected by how they are used does not take long for employees in any organization to figure out when the performance evaluations are punitive rather than constructive purposes. One function of performance evaluations is needed to provide documentation to justify disciplinary actions, but this use should apply to only a handful of cases.

COMMUNITY ACCOUNTABILITY

The best form of accountability becomes the people, when the police shift from confrontation to co-operation. Community policing emphasizes community empowerment reflecting the transformation that takes place when people stop being passive consumers of police service and become active participants in helping to make their neighborhoods better and safer places to live and work. By giving people a direct say in how they are policed, the community can hold officers who stray directly accountable. At the same time, the community officers serve as a check against vigilantism.

The face to face interaction between people and their police eliminates the anonymity that allows crime and violence to flourish on both sides of the law. The daily presence of police officers allows them to know which people they can trust and which to keep an eye on. At the same time the people in the community know their officers and can confront them directly with their concerns - even their concerns about police misbehavior. There are no protests, no marches, and no formal complaints to head quarters unless misbehavior is serious or ongoing.

To regain community control and enhance police accountability, many community leaders have renewed the call for civilian review boards as a way of addressing the issues of excessive force and to improve police community relations, especially in minority neighborhoods. Yet experience shows that these boards are often not made up of average citizens, and they do little more than impose yet another layer of bureaucracy between people and police. While the formal complaint system provide an important redress, officers charged with misconduct must focus more on protecting their own civil rights and minimizing department liability than on making

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amends. The best solution for any crime including police brutality is prevention -dealing with problems before harm is done. With the unusual stresses and frustrations of police work today, it is easy to understand an officer can be tempted to lash out. But, the challenge lies in dealing with the problem swiftly and effectively so that today's shove does not become tomorrow's punch - or worse, and before a budding "bad apple "can infect others.

Internal police accountability procedures, usually those linked to performance evaluations and formal methods to deal with citizen's complaints, are extremely important and should not be eliminated. They can hold officers directly and immediately accountable their actions. Officers know they will be forced to answer personally to whatever they do. They cannot hide their identity by putting tape over their name badges and name-tags. Appropriate and specific departmental policies and procedures, as well as performance evaluations and precise job descriptions will go a long way in helping police officers be accountable. But in the final analysis, the key will be whether there is close interaction between police officers and citizens to identify those officers who are misbehaving and compliment those who are performing well. Both the formal departmental structures and continual citizen input and feed back are necessary for an effective accountability system.

THE POLICE AND THE PUBLIC

Community relations is the corner stone of effective policing. Indeed, many observers argue that community relations is the role of policing. In this sense, the police are seen as the lubricants in the wheels of society, smoothing the passage of its citizens and intervening to resolve conflict and difficulty wherever it should occur. Many calls for our services touch upon the relationship, between the members of public - as victim or assailant as accuser or accused, as protester or object of protest, and every contact between police and public has potential to influence the wider aspect of community relations.

Handling issues of community relations therefore calls for a policing strategy which recognizes the all-embracing nature of the relationship between police and public.

But an important message that emerges is that while such a grand strategy is essential, what counts most is translating the macro-philosophy into practice on the ground - into initiative which have real meaning and influence at the local level and at the level of individual in society.

Community relations

The success in revitalizing community relations, in raising community consciousness, and in improving the relationship between community and police depends on police loosening some of their control of policing in the widest sense. This requires consultation, understanding, negotiation and co-operation between the community and the police. Whether it be Officers out on the streets or at policy levels, there is a need for all involved to be working at that end.

Communication/Consultation

The major thrust of the policing strategy to improve community relations must be through improved communication. Consultation and contact with the community must be pursued with vigor. It is essential that police find out from the public, who pay for us and are our customers, what they require from us, how sensitive we are being to their needs and how satisfied they are with the service. There must be a dialogue. This ensures that the communication is two way. Police need views of the public, but they also need to be informed of the difficulties in policing and the competing and sometimes conflicting demands placed on us. This communication leads not only to the effective and efficient use of the resources, but to our investment for the future. Every opportunity of making positive non-confrontational contact with members of the public needs to be maximized by police at all levels. Good communications through such channels permits the flow of accurate information, ('information' being the keyword) which aids the consultative process, dispels rumors and counter misinformation. The media also have a significant role to playing communication. Many people do not have specific contact with the police and will form an. impression of us and our work on the basis of what they read and see in the media. This is also applicable to the way in which some groups in the community are perceived by others - and this impacts our impression of them as well. This emphasizes the need to develop constructive relationships with the media. This must entail persuading out officers to the need for openness and emphasizing the

good results that can be and are being achieved. Police do have hiccups, of course, but positive publicity certainly assists the public in understanding police better.

Participative policing

An effective community relations strategy calls for strong police action not only in conjunction with the community outside, but also through its own internal policies. Effective communications internally is quite as important as externally. Through their contact and involvement in the community, constables have information vital to the decision making process. Inevitably the knowledge and experience-of senior managers are neither sufficiently current nor gained in the same context as officers currently working within the community. The " When / was ......"syndrome does not equate with good policy, and tactics will fail if they are out of touch with the reality of policing. Internal consultative and participative mechanisms are therefore essential, with officers who are aware of the importance of their role in decision making being much more likely to give good commitment to it.

COMMUNITY POLICING IN JAPAN

Police System

Each police station has its' own jurisdiction and is responsible for the safety of it's' citizens. Each police station has several different sections, including the community safety, investigation and traffic sections to deal with a variety of incidents. Within their jurisdiction, the Koban and Chuzaisho form the basis of police community activity. At Kobans, policemen work in shifts and at Chuzaisho, they work full time and live there, often with their families.

Policemen in Koban and Chuzaisho are involved in crime prevention, arresting suspects, directing or controlling traffic and patrolling. Policemen are constantly fighting against crimes such as murder, robbery and theft which threaten citizens' lives. They try to solve the crime for the sake of victims. Any help or information from citizens helps greatly in solving the cases more quickly Community policing officers maintain constant alert while keeping direct contact with citizens, day and nights, everyday for the year. Through maintaining street watch, patrolling neighborhoods and visiting homes, community police officers ensure the safety and peace of community life by preventing crimes, arresting criminal suspects, controlling traffic, offering juvenile guidance, protecting lost children and drunks counseling citizens in trouble, etc.

KOBAN SYSTEM

The Koban system, indigenous to the Japanese police and achieving a world-wide reputation, secures the safety and peace of community life through daily contact with local residents. The system is highly efficient and relatively smaller number of police can preserve the local security. This system consists of police boxes and residential police boxes at approximately 15000 locations all over the country.

Police Boxes as basically deployed in urban areas and community police officers maintain an around - the - clock watch there working under the three - shift system as follows:

1. Full - day duty (from morning to next morning ).

2. Off duty (the day following the full day duty) and

3. Day duty (from morning to evening ).

Residential Police Boxes are mainly located in such rural communities as agricultural, forestry and fishery towns and villages. In principle, one community Police officer works there living with his family in the attached quarters, These police boxes and residential police boxes are the most familiar police contacts for the community residents who feel a great sense of security from its existence- These officers are always visible on the street, and community residents constantly come and ask for assistance in various matters.

The Koban system attracts much attraction from abroad. Singapore has already adopted the system, and Philippines and Malaysia are now on the way to its adoption.

Patrol cars equipped with radio:

Radio - equipped patrol cars are deployed with prefectural police headquarters, police stations and police boxes. Police officers use them for surveillance and patrol within the jurisdiction to standby for any incidents that might occur in the daily life of the community. While keeping in radio contact with the communications command centre of the prefectural police headquarters. Should such case arise, they rush to the scene and carry out an initial - stage operation, thus playing a major role in quick solution.

NATURE OF ACTIVITIES.

Vigilance at police boxes

Vigilance at Police boxes and residential police boxes maintained by standing watch in front of the Police Box or sitting watch from its inside enabling them to respond immediately to any incident. It also receives crime reports from citizens, handling lost and found articles, counseling citizens in trouble, giving directions, etc.

Patrol

Police officers carry out their duties outside police boxes by patrolling their beats either on foot, by bicycle, or by car.

Visits to homes and work places

Community Police officers assigned to a police box periodically make a routine visit to houses and offices on their beats to give advice on the prevention of crime and accidents, troubles and requests for the purpose of reflecting such views in police operation.

Publication of information pamphlets

Majority of police boxes are issuing news - tatters that usually bear titles reflecting a well - known location or land mark in the community. These news - letters are homemade by community police - officers for local distribution. These "Koban newsletters" are popular and playing important role in promoting a friendly contact between the police and the community.

Community activities

Community Police Officers engage in activities to prevent Juvenile delinquency and

contribute to the sound growth of young people. Volunteering their off - duty time they teach boys and girls various sports such judo and kendo and culture activities including painting, calligraphy, etc.

Counseling services for citizens.

The police establishment in each prefectural Police headquarters has a general counseling office unifying the counseling offices. Furthermore, a nation wide telephone line exclusively for counseling service has been initiated.

GOOD COOPERATION WITH CITIZENS & CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS

KOBAN LIAISON COUNCILS

At present Koban Liaison Councils are established at approximately 11000 districts throughout the country. Each council is made up of community residents from different walks of life. The Council members tell their opinions and request to the Police and study and discuss their problems with the police to promote community safety activities.

CRIME PREVENTION ASSOCIATION & CRIME PREVENTION

LIAISON STATIONS

A. CRIME PREVENTION ASSOCIATIONS

Crime prevention associations are playing a central role in creating a crime free safe. Community by promoting crime prevention and cleaning up the environment surrounding Juveniles in co-operation with the Police.

B. CRIME PREVENTION LIAISON STATIONS

About 4,75.000 houses are designated as crime prevention Liaison Stations nationwide to serve as basis of civil crime prevention activities in the community, The following are the major activities:

1. Report of incidents and accidents.

2. Sponsorship of round - table discussions on crime prevention and

3. Delivery of crime prevention publication. .

JUVENILE GUIDANCE COUNSELORS, JUVENILE GUIDANCE

PERSONNEL AND JUVENILE POLICE ASSISTANCE

In order to prevent juvenile delinquency and contribute to their sound development, civil volunteers engage in juvenile guidance clean up the social environment surrounding young people. There are approximately 6000 juvenile guidance counselors 51,300 juvenile guidance personnel and 1.100 juvenile police assistants nation wide.

COMMUNICATIONS COMMAND SYSTEM

(EMERGENCY DIAL 110)

To swiftly and centrally process Dial 110 calls and other emergency calls about crimes and accidents, the police have installed communications command centre at each prefectural police headquarters. The centre plays a pivotal role in initial stage police operations with their staff working in shifts on standby, day and night. Upon receipt of a Dial 110 call, the communications command centre instructs patrol cars and the officers at the Police Boxes to rush to the scene of crime for the purpose of promptly arresting suspects or rescuing victims. When a serious criminal offence breaks out, the centre issues an emergency deployment order where to arrest suspects quickly and collect materials for post-offensive investigations.

The number of Dial 110 calls has been increasing year by year and is increasingly playing a significant role in police operations.

PRACTICAL PROBLEMS:

WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMUNITY POLICING

The most significant aspect of community policing consists in breaking down the barriers separating community and the police. The problem of community policing is both of theoretical and practical nature.

First, much of the discussion of community policing has tended to overlook the politically ambivalent role of the concept that it poses for the police.

Second, the high degree of individualism which characterizes the cities where the opportunities of crime are multiplied in the anonymity of the city streets, the factory, and the market place, is going to limit the effectiveness of any form of policing which relies heavily on the collective endeavors of the community. Since social and geographical mobility have created relationships that cannot be governed by informal controls so, same is true about the concept of community policing as it is entirely based on collective efforts of police and the community.

Third, another obstacle to the development of community policing is the collaboration of police with other agencies in the communities. Here problem canaries regarding the sharing of information between agencies, the accountability of different agencies and their respective responsibilities.

Fourth, the men who join police are often very young in age as well as in maturity of temperament and judgment. Training in the use of force and authority to use it, combined with youth of most police officers, can well inhibit the capacity of a police officer to emphasize with the situation of those being policed in ethnically diverse and low income neighbor hoods. Community policing requires effective interaction between police and ordinary citizens so, community policing demands a degree of emotional maturity more likely to be present in somewhat older officers. Thus, the youth of police recruits appear to be less inclined towards the job of community policing.

Despite all the practical problems the idea of community policing is not without substance and that the constraints discussed above do not make it virtually impossible to achieve. The concept of community policing has a enduring value and if police encourage community based crime prevention, emphasize non-emergency interaction with the public, increase public input into policy making and de-centralize command, there is no reason why it will not succeed. All it needs is the good intentions.

IMPEDIMENTS TO COMMUNITY POLICING IN PAKISTAN

The role and concept of community policing in Pakistan stems from the principle of the system of criminal administration which again is based on public order/disorder, depending upon various social and economic variables. The ideal would be that we have a system which conjures forth the objective respecting police-public relationship wherein a police figure, whatever rank and status should be regarded by every law abiding Citizen as a wise and impartial being acting as protector against every conceivable threat. Factually speaking the Pakistan police." community policing model is fraught with following demerits:

The Criminal Procedure Code ( Cr. PC ) governing the exercise of police actions is based on a legislative act devised by Britishers in 1898. Hardly countable amendments might have been made in the act, Although various chapters/sections/provisions of the act comprehensively deal with the administration of criminal justice but when put together with Police Rules 1934, scarcely delivers the good.

The system of police personnel training in Pakistan depends primarily on the social and cultural fixations of the instructors who run the academies/institutions of training. Devoid of intellectual investigation and proper psycho-academic case study of problems the Pakistani system steps into any given situation through ill-equipped operational techniques.

Lack of funds and poor working conditions from an ordinary constable to the Inspector General of police promote sickening functional environment wherein reformatory part of community policing barely comes in,

Brutalities, violence and infringement of basic human rights in Pakistan is another source of malady attached with the system of policing. Financial corruption at every tier is an additional factor taken note of in the system.

Insufficient sophisticated training of police officers, both pre-service and in-service, in subject matter of human relations plus in-effective administrative policies and supervision relative to police misconduct are noticeable factors.

Serious credibility questions regarding internal discipline and investigative procedures besides inadequate statistics/data relative to citizen complaints always lacks in the system.

Deficiencies in public information and interpretation regarding complaint procedure have to be kept in view. Closely allied with this is an attitude towards complaints that is reflected in making the procedure overly formal, unduly difficult, inconvenient, embarrassing, or legally foreboding complainant, Numerous police agencies have no established pattern of complaint procedure, handling same in haphazard manner, for example, at the level of Superintendent of Police, he may sometimes tend to deal with all the complaints personally or at other times he may assign an officer for the same.

HOW TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY POLICING IN PAKISTAN

Before suggesting measures to solve the problems of police - community relations, we must accept this fact that no program oriented towards the betterment of police -community relations can be successful without improving the basic service conditions of the police officers.

Recruitment on merit.

Improvement in training programs according to the present day requirements.

Public must be fully informed regarding their police, the service rendered and the improvements made to build up a better and cordial image of police.

Frequent visits of the area by police officers in non-emergency times.

Participation in local social functions.

Encouragement of respectable of the area to visit police stations.

Projection of police activities through proper press relations.

Visits of schools and colleges by police officers to build up their respect in the minds of the students for having better community relations in future.

Police officers must scrutinize their working, their behavior and their own point of view.

Improving community relations involves not only instituting programs and changing procedure and practices but re-examining fundamental attitudes. With this police officers will have to learn to listen patiently and understandingly even to the people who are openly critical of them, since, they are the people with whom relations need to be improved.

The desired relation ship between the police and the community is impossible to attain unless both have suitable attitude. Public thinks that only police is responsible for good community relations, which is wrong. Community policing is a matter of shared responsibility and total involvement of alt citizens, whether or not they wear badges.

The revival of the most extinct village police will of course contribute a lot in bringing the community and the police together, groom their relations and inspire a team spirit in them against crime which is a responsibility of both and more so of the community.

In a nut shell, to move forward towards a greater cross community acceptance of a police service and the creation of a new relationship between the community and the police who service it, three vital elements must come into play. The first is that it needs to be accountable to the immediate community it serves. Secondly its

operational independence needs to be protected and thirdly distance must be maintained between politicians and police.

For policing in the community to be successful it must be based on the concept of partnership between the community and the police who service it. However the success of all partnerships re built on trust. But that trust cannot be established unless there is irrefutable evidence of a mutual willingness to accommodate each partner. In this partnership between community and police there must be willingness on the part of each partner to be open, honest and accountable for decisions and actions.

On the part of the police there must be a willingness to be transparent and also responsive to community needs and fears. On the part of the community members in the new oversight structures there must be a corresponding willingness to be pro-active and well informed.