Practices Of Community Policing In Matola Criminology Essay

Published:

The previous chapter has introduced the CP in Mozambique in term of origins and philosophy. These are taken in consideration for the CP in Matola and could be used as guide lines for the implementations of the CP in Matola. Yet, this chapter brings and analysis the key findings of the real dimension and situation of the CP helping to elaborate some theories. The process of triangulation showed that Matola was one of the first communities in Mozambique to practice the CP from 1996. Moreover the findings showed that CP is an experience with its origins from outside the PRM headquarters, without ignoring that knowledge carries emotional and political characteristic of the sources.

The main goal of this chapter is to present and critically analyse the reasons behind the abandonment of the CP in order to have a generally understanding of the collapse of many crime prevention polices taken into account by the PRM.

4.1 A close look to Matola: geographical localization, criminal perception and PRM coverage

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

Professional

Essay Writers

Lady Using Tablet

Get your grade
or your money back

using our Essay Writing Service!

Essay Writing Service

Matola is the second crowded municipality behind Maputo City with a clear division between the industrial and the residential areas, and between the poor and the rich people. It is a city in constant expansion where those with monetary power demonstrate their strength by building big houses. In terms of crime rate, it competes with Maputo City, Beira and Nampula with 10 violent crimes committed in each neighbourhood per each day (Reisman and Lalá 2012). According to Shabangu (2010), Matola is one of the cities where violent crimes occur such as an increase in car hijackings and theft, robberies of banks and commercial stores, "armed assaults", and home burglaries. While Maputo City leads on the crimes against properties, Matola may go leading the list of crimes against people, homicides, corporal offences, women and children violations and Human and drugs trafficking and also used as whereabouts and hideout for "big criminals".

4.1.1 Administrative division

Since 2007, Matola, as Beira and Nampula, is classified as a municipality of class B (Impacto 2012). It has an area of 375 km² bordering Moamba District at the northwest and north, Boane District at the west and southwest, Maputo City at the South and East and Marracuene District at the Northwest. The population of the municipality has been estimated at 672,508 inhabitants, showing being 51.8% female (INE 2007).

Map 4.1

Map of Mozambique locating Matola

Source: Adapted based on Ezilon-Maps and de Araujo (1999).

The area is divided into three Administrative Posts (AP), Matola, Machava and Infulene with approximately 58.44, 185.88 and 153,55 Km2, respectively (de Araújo 1999:5). The first is the part where one can find the oldest and most urbanized part of the city and the leading and oldest economic and social infrastructure. Most of the provincial government institutions are located in this side. It is crossed by the famous "Highway" Maputo-Wittbank, the economic drive of Mozambique. It comprises 13 neighbourhoods, namely Matola "A", "B", "C", "D", "F", "G", "H", "J", Fomento, Liberdade, Mussumbuluco, Mahlampswene and Sikwama.

The AP of Machava has been transforming from its nature of the previous suburb of the city of Matola, with an industrial function to medium and medium low residential classes. Twelve neighbourhoods constitute the AP of Machava: Unidade "A", Trevo, Patrice Lumumba, Machava Sede, São Damaso, Bunhiça, Tsalala, Km-15, Mathlemele, Kobwe, Matola Gare and Singathela.

Lastly, the AP Infulene arose as a result of the extension of the Maputo to Matola developing itself along the chain, the football stadium and the right bank of the Valley Infulene. "There were always more precarious neighbourhoods receiving immigrant population of poor economic resources" [1] (de Araújo 1999). This area has sixteen neighbourhoods alongside the Mulauze River. These are, Infulene, Zona Verde, Ndlavela, Infulene "D", T-3, Acordos de Lusaka, Vale do Infulene, Khongolote, Intaca, Muhalaze, 1° de Maio, Boquisso "A" and "B", Mali, Mukatine and Ngolhoza.

Map 4.2

Map of Matola

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

Comprehensive

Writing Services

Lady Using Tablet

Plagiarism-free
Always on Time

Marked to Standard

Order Now

Marracuene

AP Infulene

AP Machava

Maputo City

AP Matola

Boane

Source: Adapted based on de Araujo (1999)

4.1.2 Police jurisdiction and police coverage

The jurisdiction of the Matola police is much bigger than its administrative terrain. Its territorial extension is under control of 9 police stations - Esquadras- which are divided as follows: AP of Matola, 1st , 2nd , 3rd and 4th Police Station; AP of Machava, just the 5th police station, and in Infulene, the 6th and 7th police stations. Arguably, one could understand that the largest AP has just one police station and the smallest, where most elite live, has five.

Moreover, there are two special police stations namely Lingamo and Beluluane. The first belongs to Matola industrial park and overlaps with the 1st police station, localized beside Matola Port and within Matola Industrial Park. The second belongs to Beluluane Industrial Park where the mega-project Mozal is localized. Both of them are specifically in charge of the respective industrial parks. Although the Beluluane Police Station is localized in Boane District, jurisdictionally it belongs to Matola. This and other examples, such as the Police Post of Sao Damaso which belongs to 6th police station in AP Infulene instead of 5th police station in the AP of Machava, illustrates that the distribution of jurisdiction areas for the PRM do is not the same as the administrative division.

It is supported by 12 Police Posts and 22 Community Policing Council (CPC) among which three were recently created in Matola "A", Tsalala and Tchomene by the new Provincial Commander of Maputo (see the tables below). In general, each police station works with less than ten police officers per day and one in the police post.

Table 4.1

Distribution/Localization of Police Stations and Police Posts per neighbourhood

Administrative Post

Neighbourhoods

Police Stations (Esquadras)

Localization

Police Post (Posto Policial)

Localization

Matola

Matola A, Matola B, Matola C, Matola D, Matola F, Matola G, Matola H, Matola J, Fomento, Liberdade, Mussumbuluco, Mahlampswene, Sikwama

1st

Matola " A"

Matola Santos

Matola "C"

Market of Matola Santos (Matola "A")

Matola "C"

2nd

Cinema 700 = Matla"B"

3rd

Bairro Fomento

4th

Bairro da Liberdade

Mussumbuluku

Mussumbuluku

Machava

Unidade A, Trevo, Patrice Lumumba, Machava Sede, São Damaso, Bunhiça, Tsalala,km-15, Mathlemele, Nkobe, Matola Gare, e Singathela

5th

Machava Sede

Nkobe

Bunhiça

Trevo

Tchumene 2

Nkobe

Bunhiça

Trevo

Tchumene 2

Infulene

Infulene, Zona Verde, Ndlavela, Infulene D, T-3, Acordos de Lusaka, Vale do Infulene, Khongolote, Intaca, Muhalaze, 1° de Maio, Boquisso A, Boquisso B, Mali, Mukatine, e Ngolhoza

6th

Bairro do Infulene

Noo 4

São Damaso

Patrice Lumumba

São Damaso

7th

Bairro T3

Khongolote

Boquisso

1° de Maio

Khongolote

Boquisso

1° de MaioSource: Adapted by the researcher from data collected in the field work

4.2 Practices of Community Policing in Matola

For a better understanding of the models of the CP practiced in Matola we have first to understand three the dimensions of the CP. The first is that the CP is a fashionable policing approach as result of the shortcoming of the conventional policing and the decline on public trust in it. It takes into consideration that fighting crime is not only for the police but both the police and the community. Secondly, the '[CP] is a philosophy without one set criterion for implementing the approach. Rather, police agencies are expected and encouraged to apply the [CP] philosophy in ways that meet the specific needs of their locality' (Marabito 2010:565). Lastly, theoretically, it's necessary to divide the process of CP in three important periods: (i) the period before the I Conference of CP, (ii) the period after the conference, and (iii) the period overshadowed by the death of the "father of CP in Mozambique".

4.2.1 The stages of the CP in Matola: why the CP has failed

The first stage: the launch and implication CP

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

This Essay is

a Student's Work

Lady Using Tablet

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Examples of our work

This period was characterized mostly by major enthusiasm among both the PRM and the communities on the implementation of the CP. The findings have shown that the CP was launched in Matola in 1996. The commander of the 4th police station in the neighbourhood of Liberdade argued that in this period, many CPCs were officialised in different neighbourhoods of Matola by the respective commanders of the area of jurisdiction and some commanders were competing in order to "show service". '... when the CP started I was the Chief of Operation at the most controversial police station in Matola, the 7th police station, too much crime in that area so that we had to involve citizens in policing, so there were great effort of us to create awareness on the citizens for them could participate on the CP' ([A] 2012, PI) [2] . According to Howana, '... the creation of CP brought hope for many of us to show our skill ...' However, the politicization of CP, CPCs and the lack of agreement between the citizens due to their differences such as tribal or political on electing and choosing the president of the CPC and the members of the CP were frequent in many neighbourhoods. In many instances this created the failure of their officialization as the entire area of jurisdiction of the 4th police station and some neighbourhoods belonging to the 7th police station. Moreover, another reason given by the respondents was the existence of strong criminals in some neighbourhoods who by threaten the local citizen have discouraged the creation of CPs. Also in some neighbourhoods the existence of many un-officialised CPC was notable or some commanders were officialising CPCs without the minimum observation of the rules established by the local Department of Public Affairs. Some of these CPC's were harmful and composed of criminals (Macamo 2008 and I Conference Report 2008). Many CPCs in Matola do not own proper places for headquarters therefore they use those belonging to FRELIMO such as neighbourhood headquarters - sedes do bairro - meaning that in most cases where you see a FRELIMO's flag there is a CPC.

According to some researches, such as DIE-ACIPOL (2007:56-57) and Dava et al. (2006) which are supported by some interviewee illustrate that the implementation of the CP was not yet consolidated. Therefore, they concluded that the partnership between the PRM and the communities was not yet well materialized. One could observe that among the CPCs there was different (i) understanding of the philosophy of CP, for they do not have guide lines. Furthermore, (ii) they argued that the CP members did not even know to whom they could give their reports, if it was to the president of the CPC or to the police and when to report. And (iii), there were procedures developed by the CP that created lack of trust on citizens to them originating "private justice". Above all, from the FGD in Matola "C", one could understand that the poor quality of the members of the CP, as a result of the lack of formation and the absence of incentives transformed the behaviour of many, inducing them to the inversion of their roles and starting to be involved into acts of corruption, robbery and violating women. Most of the interviewees, in particular the police members said that most of the time the CP members acted as a police force (detention and patrol) and gave no respect to the police officers. (Dava et al. 2006:13) argues that there was a major worry due to the lack of good relationship between both members of the PRM and those of CP. This could jeopardise all efforts made by the Mozambican government in bringing the community to participate on the establishment of public safety. Moreover, Commando General da PRM (2007:2) reported that the involvement of the members of CP on releasing criminals detained by the police were undermining the reputation of both the PRM and the CPCs and were creating conflicts between the victim and the offender.

Due to the high crime rate in Matola and other points of Maputo province, this report recommends the PRM of Maputo Province, particularly of Matola, to encourage the members of the CPC, for they could intensify policing (patrols) in their areas of jurisdiction. The few patrols clearly demonstrate the incapacity of the PRM operational coverage and therefore provide a green card to the members of CP to act. Howana argues that in this period, '...before the conference of Beira, some members of the CP "could eat" [3] by themselves, tie and beat citizens by their own initiative, and sometimes in order to get information they were using those methods that you may know: tie a person, put ants in their mouths or condensed milk in their ears, those traditional methods that some CP members had rescued from their past experience which in somehow are not proper for the philosophy of the CP...' [4] Moreover, some of the CP members were given fire arms and many CPCs own detention cells inappropriate for detaining human - '…this is our cell..' one of the CP members said pointing at an 1.5 meter depth half external wastewater made ​​of cement [5] . Besides, most of them were using handcuffs, whistles, batons, sticks, strings, machetes and traditional methods of torture. For identification, each CPC idealized their own uniform using different style and colour, and others used bracelet. According to Macamo (2008:31) there was diverse interpretation of concept and philosophy of CP due to their different background - militias, police or military - and arguably some commanders assigned them guns and handcuffs for policing.

However, according to the claims of the majority of the citizens interviewed, the population was not aware on the real objectives of the CP and many were concerned. One of the citizens interviewed clearly complained without reservation saying that '…these [CP] brought to us bad memories from the past GV and "operacao producao" [6] because what they were doing in this area was too bad. To arrest people without cause, sometime we could accept but rapping our women was inconceivable...' (Mandamule 2012, PI) [7] If this political issue was brought up to the people's minds by the behaviour of many CP members, then the failure of the CP could not be a surprise to any attentive observer. Accordingly, to the researcher Omar Ribeiro Thomas interviewed by Pallone (2008), "operacao producao" consisted in taking people to "re-education camps"- campos de re-educacao, for they should be re-socialized at work working in the fields -machambas - learning the principles of Marxism-Leninism and at the end to be transformed in "hemem novo" - the new man. Many people died during the process. Their main target groups were women suspected of prostitution, alcoholics, people considered sluts or linked to trafficking, people suspected to have or who had connections with the former colonial regime, Portuguese political police -PIDE- collaborators, or chiefs, traditional authorities who were linked to the functioning of the colonial state. Furthermore, he argues that those accused of witchcraft and fellows of the Jehovah's Witnesses were enhancing the group. Accordingly, the main goal of FRELIMO was cleaning the representatives of ignorance and tribalism resulting from the Portuguese fascist colonial system.

Nevertheless, most of the citizens, the police and CP members interviewed believed that apart from these atrocities, the CP showed visible results. Therefore the population agreed on paying monthly 10,00Mt per each family. This amount was to compensate many CP members who have been asked for salaries from the state - PRM. In the I Conference, Vice-Minister of MINT emphasised that there were no salaries for working as CP, because this is voluntary work and because apart from being voluntary, it benefits the community on preventing and combating crime (Gil 2008). This clearly showed that the CP members could not receive salaries but the communities could be responsible as the state was responsible for the PRM and they would have to find the best way to address this problem.

Accordingly, each family paid an amount and in some neighbourhoods, those that could do more such as entrepreneurs could give more and also participate with nutritional articles. Other sources of money were the "car-parking", such as the CPCs of Matola "C", Dhlavela and Khobwe; and last source was to sell security labour as private security companies or to look for jobs for CP members in residences or condominiums or in private security companies. This could somehow minimise the problem of poverty-versus-voluntarism raised by many CP members as well as one of the MP. For this MP, the voluntary work cannot work in a country like Mozambique where people live below the poverty line, - '...in our operative oversight in Matola, the CP members had no salaries, therefore they turned to robberies, we discovered that the cattle that were always reported missing or stolen was made with the connivance of the CP members and even for those areas where the population pays, it can be compared with the buildings where some citizens pay for its maintenance, but many do not pay. This also happen for the CP and at the end no one pays. Is not that they do not want to pay, but because they are poor. (Alcinda 2012, PI) Nevertheless, many citizens interviewed argued that the CPCs representative - President, Vice-President and the Secretary - could not give the money to other members of the CP as they were greedily dividing among themselves. As a result, people stopped to contribute.

Operationally, the CP had a picket where ten or more CP members could work per day. Four of them could be responsible for a "block". The Chief Coordinator of CPCs in Maputo Province argues that "Before the conference, our action was to patrol, vigilance and giving information to the police principally to the chiefs of "sectorization" who have worked directly with us. We acted mostly during night: in the road and markets guided by some codes for communication. In case of a crime in progress we could try to act, but we could communicate immediately to the PRM if it was not possible" (Howana 2012, PI)

This stage is mostly characterized by active CP membership where they created more than 15 CPCs and invested all their efforts, experiences of being militia, military or GV and power to this noble cause, but they created victims of human right violation - corruption, robbery, rape, discrimination, torture and murder. Besides, the worsened relationship with PRM and the feeling of abandonment of the citizens by the State were the major sighs of this stage. Moreover, Macamo (2008:30) argues that CP created

'Resistance [on the Commanders of many police stations] to assume that Community Policing is a reality of shared responsibility and neither has come to replace the PRM. Voices of some commanders say "community policing is a failed project" members of the Security Community Councils are unemployed, are thieves "'

On the understanding of many Commander of Police Stations and other police officers the CP was trying to replace them, for the CP coverage was overlapping the action of the police force, and much attention characterized by many meetings and seminars was given to the CP.

Figure 4.1

Members of CP in Juba-Sede (Matola Rio)

Source: Researcher's collection

Second stage: Reflexion and the "lost-hope" of CP members

After the CP Conference in Beira on 6th-8th February, 2008, the CP has not been the same in Matola. The CP was hardly analysed and criticized by many stakeholders - political, religious and intellectuals figures - from the national arena where issues such as its legal framework, the model, "modus operand" and incentives were critically analysed. The CP Conference Reports (2008) illustrate clearly that the "modus operand" of CP members was not advisable and therefore had to follow the guide lines which were about to be prepared. And apart from the PRM being the only institution responsible for the CP, the Ministry of State Administration has to take part on the management of the CPCs/CCSs because they are responsible for the community committees where the CP is practiced. One high ranking police officer who participated on both "processes" of implantation of the CP in Matola and in the conference, said that 'This decision comes as a result of lack of existence of capable police officers in the Section of CP to argue substantially about why the management of CP solely belongs to the PRM; as well as the lack of answers for many questions risen in the conference [...] this is what we call "shake-the-coat"[- sacudir o casaco [8] -] to others, is our tradition ([A] 2012, PI) [9] Moreover, from the conferences, the model of community policing oriented to problem-solving was the most advisable for the Mozambican reality therefore the CPCs have to be substituted by the CCSs.­­

After the conference, the CPCs started to be marginalised, left with "an automatic pilot" without the promised guidelines. They have shown difficulties in on putting in practice the recommendations of the conference. The relation with the police was meliorated, but it was characterized by the abandonment of the PRM on the process using the conference debates to support their criticism to not only the CP but also, to the "father of the CP in Mozambique" and ostracised the CPC leaders. However, in many areas one could observe that the CPCs just stopped and their members reduced to two or three effective members - the president, vice-President and Secretary- who could coordinate with the PRM in case of a crime had occurred. They became more as services points of gathering information to the police. No more meeting were held by the CPCs. One of the CP members in Juba argued that '... now we have less work to be done because the conference told us to stop to do many thing the way we were doing. We just give information to the police when necessary [...] for example, yesterday, a group of three individuals entered in a nearby condominium in construction and killed the guard who was one of our members working there, it was really sad [...] So now we are helping the police, looking for information about this case [...]'(Wereka 2012, PI) [10] . This was also well supported by the FGD in the same areas. From this one could understand that, apart from this phenomenon, the hope of one day they could receive salaries was dead therefore there was no need for the members to stay in the CPCs otherwise they could die of hunger unless they could go to look for job somewhere else. Moreover, the Chief of the Department of Personnel Management of PRM in Matola argued that the CP has been reduced into an "espionage service" working just as a source of information for the PRM turning its late interventionist characteristic into a passive mode. [11] 

This stage was characterized by the desistence of many members of CP and disappearance of some CPC which just stopped working claiming lack of motivation. From the 19 CPCs existing before, 3 CPCs-Juba, Matola "C" and Dlavela - were still with their head up although without the body managing car parking. Nevertheless, the MINT and the PRM's high ranking officers such as Vice-Minister, General Commander and those linked to the Department of Public Relations continued to motivate the nation to the continuity of the CP as the best way of connecting the citizens to the police. This period ends with the death of the first deputy Commissioner Nataniel Macamo.

Third stage: Catch up period

During the stage, the situation has worsened with the death of Nataniel Jeremias Macamo. The previous scenario prevails but now without the "father of the CP". At central level, those working for the CP have confined themselves in a bureaucratic mission trying to follow up the legal recommendation of the conference, principally on transforming the name CPC into CCS which is a shift from the European approach of CP to Brazilian one.

Today, is like there has never been a CP; however, the new Provincial Commander of Maputo is trying to bring up some CPC. For instance, latterly he went to create three CPCs in the neighbourhoods of Matola "A", Tsalala and Txumene. Yet, one can understand that although the top is talking about the CCS, less is known about in on the ground. The police officers, citizens and those CP members that have remained use the designation CCS much less and the sentiment of abandonment is clearly illustrated in the words of the CP members. 'We feel empowered when we see someone remembering on our existence'.

Table 4.2

Distribution of CPCs in Matola

Police Station/esquadra

Noo of CPCs

Localization in term of neighbourhood

CPCs formed recently

1st

2

Matola "C"

Matola "A"

2nd

4

"D", "E", "G"and "H"

0

3rd

0

0

0

4th

0

0

0

5th

6

Trevo, Machava-Sede, Kobwe and Bunhica

Tsalala and Tchomene

6th

0

0

0

7th

5

Khongolote, 1° Maio, Unidade "D", Ndlavela, Zona Verde

0

Lingamo

0

0

0

Beluluane

5

Dzilinga, Molotane, Juba, Matola-Rio, Beluluane

0

Total

22

19

03

Source: Adapted by the researcher from data collected in the fieldwork

4.3 Conclusion: Operation and Impact of Community Policing

Although the situation of the CP is still flat in Matola, one could argue that there are two models of CPs: the old one (more interventionist and pro-crime prevention) - francophone - and the new model based on information dissemination (more to clarify the cases that have already occurred and to solve local problems). Thi second model is similar to the problem-solving community policing normally based on the identification of the problem; evaluation of actions to implement, implementation of Actions, planning Actions and problem Analysis (NEV/USP 2009). This research argues that in the three stages there are some common figures. First, the lack of incentives to the members of CP. This phenomenon was caused in many CPCs such as of Juba-Sede and of Ndlavela by the unfair spirit of the leaders of the CPC who obscured the money designated as incentive and unanswered questions of the population who wanted to know where the money went. Secondly, the CPC mostly are composed by unemployed and illiterate citizens. Thirdly, the CP's are composed majorly by ex-soldiers of both FRELIMO and RENAMO who never had any training concerning to work of CP. Fourth, also there was the lack of adequate material resource to fight criminals who use guns. Most have been equipped with whistles, batons and handcuffs with uniform without proper shoes or other accessories (see the picture above). Finally, most of the CPC's are not aware of the changes taking place around the CPC.

Citizens interviewed showed that although the CP has not been seen or has stopped in some areas, the criminality has decreased strongly. Question can be raised concerning the importance of the CP. Other reasons can be that Mozambique has been one of the developing countries with rapid growth in the past years which is reflecting in the family's income and in the government indirectly investing on crime prevention through social projects and situational projects. Many roads are illuminated and many schools have been opened therefore many are those citizens that go to schools. Other examples are those mentioned above where the public and the private sector are hardly involved on crime prevention by tackling the social side.

The shift from the conference was such a huge one that many CPCs in their CP were made to work together with members of the PRM. For many CPC had understood that what they were doing before was not legal so in order to legitimise their action they were obliged to work in straight connection with the PRM. This process was mostly seen in the regions where the Commanders are those trained by ACIPOL-Human Right based- who could clearly understand the CP legal implications.