The Community Policing In Mozambique Criminology Essay

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Bogden (2005) argues that the CP appears from the Western, in the years 1960s and 1970s when emerging social changes in the societies and due to the insufficiency on reducing the crime rates of the legal parallelism, legal reforms and traditional policing; hence, in the West, it have been based on three pillars, namely, watch schemes, police community forums, and problem-solving policing with the objective on the response to the problems of rising crime, public expectations of a response, and the collapse and delegitimation of local policing structures. It mostly appeared in failed societies, as well as in the decaying urban metropolises of the West and thus it has become remedy for many problems of the communities.

'Extreme examples from the South Pacific demonstrate the breadth of that rubric. The Fijian community police warn locals about the newgreen shoots of marijuana plantations. The Australian Federal Police in the Christmas and Cocos Islands include hurricane watching and a myriad of unique ancillary services under the heading of COP. In the Solomon Islands,COPis equated with peacekeeping as one (temporary) resolution to internal schism. In Papua New Guinea, the Bougainvillea local constabulary is building up a system of COP under the guidance (and financed by) the Australian and New Zealand governments. In East Timor, after the destruction left by the Indonesian-sponsored militia, COP is being constructed under a United Nations Civilian Police (CIVPOL) mandate'. (Bogden, 2005:66)

Souza (1999:60) cited by dos Santo (2011) argues that Community policing - CP is a new form of conception and operationalization of policing largely to the partnership between the police and the community principally on the control and prevention of crime, therefore on increasing the public safety. Meanwhile researchers and police makers understand that the CP has to be considered as bunch of ideas therefore a philosophy.

The definition of community policing has received much attention and debate by both police and academics over the past decade (Cordner, 1995; Eck and Spelman, 1987; Friedmann, 1992; Goldstein, 1990; Moore, 1994; Oliver, 1998; Rosenbaum, 1988; Rosenbaum and Lurigio, 1994; Skolnick and Bayley, 1988; Seagrave, 1996) […]The majority of the definitions focus on an increase in police and community interaction, a concentration on "quality of life issues," the decentralization of the police, strategic methods for making police practices more efficient and effective, a concentration on neighbourhood patrols, and problem-oriented or problem-solving policing (Oliver, 1998 in Oliver, W.M. and E. Bartgis,1998:491 ).

To understand the CP demands the concepts of both policing and community. Accordingly, Durao (2011) conceptualizes the policing as an activity institutionally framed, based on regular patrols and signed as a practice secularly integrated in the cities mostly conducted by agents guided to monitor and act about who and what is happening in the fields of public spaces. And the concept of community has been conceptualized in accord with each country.

3.1 The Community Policing in Mozambique

3.1.1 Genesis of community policing in Mozambique

The vast area of Mozambique where due to the 16 years war the population tend to concentrate mostly in the cities and town, the police are more concentrated in the (big) cities such as Maputo, Beira, Matola and Nampula where many police stations (esquadras) are more concentrate living apart the rural areas with less vigilance or police coverage which can be considered as clear demonstration that the police coverage is more to the elites (Bogden, 2005:75). For instance, the Nigeria elite and from some other countries where Mozambique cannot be an exception, clapped their hands, for they could not be much worried on increasing the number of the police officer or police power (Alemika&Chukwuma, 2000 in Bogde, 2005). Bogden (2005:75) supports the arguments of Kyed (2009) and claims that in many African countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and Kenya the CP has originated as result of the 'Police incompetence (and consequent absence in public support) contributed to that failure-that euphemism for a politically directed, underpaid, and corrupt police institution' as well as having secondary occupations and using earning part of their wages from roadblock or desk office.

Differently from Namibia where CP has been adopted as a policy and used to promote dialogue between members of the community and the officers, in Mozambique the origin of the CP has been considered as policing strategy and cleared demonstrated on the PRM strategic plan and national programs. For instance, the PEPRM , on its "program 3" clearly illustrates the necessity of the community involvement in preventing and combating crime having as objectives: the creation of a closer ties between the PRM and citizens activities; to set the Community Policing model adjusted to the reality of the Mozambique; create programs and activities on policing and civic Education in the respective communities; encourage the organization and spatial of the neighborhoods; police involvement in urban planning. Furthermore, the Government's Five Year Programme illustrates the necessity of boosting the collaboration with the population for human rights watch and to expand the CP.

Yet, in a country of 21 million inhabitants and 800.000Km2 of territory, the PRM has approximately 1/1050 as ratio of police to inhabitants which is the lowest rate in the world apart from its partisan characteristic, inefficient, under-resourced, violent and tactically resembling the pos-colonial policing cultures. Meanwhile, this has contributed to the emergence of a new philosophy of crime prevention in Mozambique, the Community Policing. (Kyed, 2009:356). Kyed (2009) argues that the idea of CP has been implanted in Mozambique since 1992 and its implementation started in 2000 not only as result of the later mentioned characteristic of the PRM, but also as result of the impasses of PRM reforms on transforming it into non militarized force characterized by violence as consequence of both colonial legacy and the earlier "war of 16 years". Nevertheless, the collected data has shown that although the idea of the CP started from 1992, its practices started in 1996 in some areas of Mozambique such as in Matola "C" where the initiative come from the 'Secretario do Bairro' with straight collaboration with the 'Conselho Executivo'.

'The community policing in this area started in 1996, the idea was brought by the secretario do bairro, who had got the idea from a visionist president of conselho executivo of Matola. We started in this place where we are now in this house which was a milling and was rehabilitated by an investor named Largy and inaugurated at the presence of the Commander of 1a police station of Matola nemed Salvador Dimonio and was reinaugurated later on 2006 at presence of Jamal Chande, another Commander of 1a police station of Matola' (interview with Rafael Vilanculos, Vice President of CP in Matola "C")

And a report of the I Conference of Community Policing that took place in Beira on the period of 6-8 of February in 2008 on its page 5 illustrates that

'the the various experiences accumulated since the end of 2001, the year that marks the beginning of a process implantation in the country, community councils of safety, are in itself a premise that is already mature and consider the appropriate conditions with the realization of ephemeris security in their results, anticipating subsequent actions resulting from decisions of own conference' [1] 

Accordingly, many interviews were unanimous on saying that the CP started from outside the PRRM or MINT. For instance, the roots of CP in some regions of Matola Municipality such as in Matola "C" have to do with local initiatives by seeing that the crime was really high, and they organized small groups composed by the local youth that were unemployed and later was created the official CP by the local administrative structures such as neigbourhood secretary (secretario do bairro) and latterly with the involvement of on the PRM. [2] The idea of CP in PRM was taken hardly by the Police Commissioner Nataniel Macamo, mostly known as the "father of community policing" who gave all his life to the development of this policing strategy.

Nationally, the CP started in Chamanculo "B" region in Maputo City as result of a copy-pass of CP from some countries such as South Africa and other countries within the SADC. Mbanguine was the first CP chief who now is working as regional coordinator of CP. [3] 

But, the past of the CP in Mozambique has to do with the involvement of the population in the solution of the national developmental matters since the colonial era. The existence of "Regulos" actually called the traditional authority in the colonial era was one form of the participation of the community. Later on appeared the groups of vigilance, "GV"-Groupos de vigilancia, created by the III Congress of FRELIMO in 1974 which was composed by 8 or 10 individual chosen by the citizen during the public meeting. That community participation was substituited by this one. Their main task was to create political, social and economic awareness mostly on promotion of the community safety. Moreover, with the situation of war, RENAMO-Moazambican Government, there was created the "milicias populares". They not only were for maintaining the community safety, but also, they could help the FPLM on the defence on the national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The members for the "milicias populares" were chosen among the citizens of the community who could show good example and could undergo political-military trainings. (DIE-ACIPOL, 2007:9-12)

3.1.2 Objectives of Community Policing

• to promote the identification of problems affecting public safety;

• ensure accountability, professionalism, civility, firmness in the most convenient, good will, correctness, impartiality, rigor and transparency of police authority.

In the past before the I Conference of The CP, there was Councils of CP (Conselhos de Policiamento Comunitario-CPC) but after the name tend to change to Community Councils Safety (Conselhos Comunitarios de Seguranca -CCS). The Security Community Councils are entities consisting of community leaders from the same neighbourhood or municipality. These leaders come together voluntarily to discuss and analyze, plan and monitor the solution of their problems of community safety, educational campaigns and develop closer bonds of understanding and cooperation among various local leaders. The regular meetings of each Council are monthly, usually held at night in buildings for community use, according to a schedule defined by annual period.

For this many stakeholders are involved and can take part. For instance, the following people can join:

Any resident member of the local community with a reputable reputation, recognized by the population;

Community leaders;

honest citizens recognized by the population;

economic agents;

Representatives of public and or private;

Members of Committees Guards;

Representatives of Community Committees;

representatives of religious institutions;

Members of various associations;

youth organizations, school;

Mandatory participation from members of the FDS, residents in the neighborhood.

The Community Security Council has the prerogative to establish the frequency of its meetings in community forums, depending on the subjects or level of organization of community life or even demand according to local security situation. Normally, council meet once a week from 18 or 19 hours in a term not exceeding two hours. It does not have any specific place to meet, so the Community Security Council may meet at a place designated in advance and easily accessible for residents invited, or usual venue for meetings in the neighbourhood. They may use school, club, company, and association of the neighbourhood, the property of APIE or belonging to any entrepreneur or member of CCS that has offered.

For the results adquired on the meetings, they are sent to the attention of the Commander of the police station of that area of ​​jurisdiction for immediate analyse and action. In these meetings is mandatory the presence and participation of the chief of sectorization.

The establishment of CPC follow some formal procedures. For instance, through the police station, the contacts are made with the structures of the district; they are informed of the intention to organize the meeting in order to establish a Community Council of Neighborhood Safety, discussing the convenience fixing the date and hour for its realization. On the day of the meeting, is didactically delivered a lecture on the importance of community policing model, from its genesis, developing a thought that mobilizes resources, showing the escalation of violence and the need for community participation in preventing and combating crime, the problem of drugs and child prostitution, alcoholism, depredation of the environment, traffic problems, the need for educational campaigns and the new philosophy of Community Policing.

 The populations are explained on how to be organized. They are then given the opportunity to make use of the word to be pronounced. Are informed about the composition and how they can structure (President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer and Spokesperson), in addition to selected members and elected by the population, who constitute themselves as counsellors in a number ranging between 30 to 50 members.

 Subject to the conditions and circumstances suitability of the medium, the Council is elected, it is not essential that the election takes place the same day for the meeting will be the character mobilizing and awareness. Populations can set another date on which to effect the constitution outright Council Community Safety

Fugure 3.1.2

Meeting for creation of the CPC

Source: courtesy from Inspector Jorge Banda, Chief of Operation at PRM Distrital Command of Maxixe-Inhambane. 

After the meeting, is usually filled carefully the data sheet and the date of the meeting which should be circulated among those present for the signing of all participants. In case of not being able to complete the filling, the president and secretary nominees shall be responsible for complete it immediately and refer to the police station.

 The Community Forums will establish the date and time that suits them to meet, as well as decide on the issues that should be part of the agenda of each week. Nothing prevents to establish the period of twice a week, where one day reserves to the study of various documents, laws, regulations or discussion of other topics that relate to the development of the neighbourhood, which are not necessarily related to the crime.

The purposes of the meetings of the board are:

Planning the actions of community safety and evaluate its results.

Develop educational campaigns aiming at guiding the population under conditions and forms security.

Work with the population to identify security problems in day-to-day and encourage her to denounce the evils, or from the Council, or directly to the Command Squad or area.

Throughout the week, the Community Council organizes working groups that make up the neighbourhood to collect various information, opinions, and exchange ideas about community life within the population, related to security.

Looking to the primary and secondary data it can be shown that the CP in Mozambique has voluntary involvement of the community on solving national issues of the state, has its origins from the colonial era passing through an hard experiences of war, and was created as result of the reforms implemented in the country principally on the maintenance of public order, security and tranquillity.

Table 1.2

Table of Community Policing or Community councils of safety in Mozambique




Noo of CCS


Maputo City






























Cabo Delgado


Total Geral: 3.997

3.2 Varieties of Community Policing

In many African countries such as those later British colonial countries the CP has been always attached to the police giving them power of creating coordinating activities of the CP within the community. Accordingly, it was characterised mostly by the deviation of money from the donors to the CP projects as 'a local newspaper claimed that police had misappropriated money given by a local Asian community to introduce [community policing] in Limbe' (Bogden, 2005:78). The CP in African countries was seen as a political and developmental program or project resulting from both the change of political arenas of the countries and the existence of a police that has been far away of satisfying the needs of their citizens. The CP in most African countries has been mirrored from the implemented in their famer colonial, for they were trained by them.

In Asia, principally in the former colonies and imperial territories-the CP has become an alternative to the paramilitary inheritance of the former British colonial police, and many people such as local elites, politicians and police officers describe CP as a response to the crime problem, for instance, Sharma (2001 in Bogden, 2005) illustrates that the primitive policing practices are reflected in poor rates of conviction, in deteriorating efficiency and effectiveness, and consequently in a declining respect for the law. In practice, in many Asian countries such as in India and Pakistan more contact was created between the police and the community by creating friendly police officers and lines for emergency or report any case, characterised by the community problem-solving approach enhanced by the police.

An outcome on the varieties of CP is that CP can work only if the correct procedures and resources are ensured although many researches on the CP principally those from the USA have illustrating greater criticisms on the effectiveness of the CP; however many African countries are still implementing and creating more supports near the communities.

There are some historical models of CP such as (i) Anglo-Saxony model of CP primarily originated from the UK characterized by creating permanent contact, dialogue, exchange of experience and information to the police, normally is controlled by small group of 5 to10 elements assigned to certain areas depending on the characteristic of the area; (ii) francophone model of CP based on criminal investigation where the police appears to regulate social incidents and urgencies looking for a direct and a deep contact with the citizen, and they are represented by a single police officer with a office within the community; and (iii) the problem-oriented policing is based on identifying the political, economic and criminal problems of the community and create solution to solve them. Generally two aspects have to be underlined in this model of community policing: the tasks of identifying and looking for solutions are made by both the police and the citizens of the community and the members of the police assigned to the communities do patrol by horses such as in Chicago and by foot. [4] 

In reality the practice of the CP in different countries worldwide are practicing a mixture of three or two of the above models depending on the reality of local economic, political and social conditions. For instance many countries are using the problem solving model which in some how covers bits of others.

3.3 Principles of Community Policing

Supporters of community policing are convinced that the very nature of police work must be altered from its present incident-by-incident, case-by-case orientation to one that is more problem-oriented (Goldstein, 1990). This problem solving approach should be characterized by several important features: (1) it should be the standard operating method of policing, not an occasional special project; (2) it should be practiced by personnel throughout the ranks, not just by specialists or managers; (3) it should be . empirical, in the sense that decisions are made on the basis of information that is gathered systematically; (4) it should involve, whenever possible, collaboration between police and other agencies and institutions; and (5) it should incorporate, whenever possible, community input and participation, so that it is the community's problems that are addressed (not just the police department's) and so that the community shares in the responsibility for its own protection.

The problem solving process consists of four steps: (l) careful identification of the problem: (2) careful analysis of the problem; (3) a search for altemative solutions to the problem; and (4) implementation and assessment of a response to the problem. Community input can be incorporated within any or all of the steps in the process. Identification, analysis, and assessment should rely on information from multiple sources.

A crucial characteristic of the problem-oriented approach is that it seeks tailored solutions to specific community problems. Arrests and law enforcement are not abandoned rather, an effort is made in each situation to determine which alternative responses best fit the problem.

Community Engagement. Participation of the community in its own protection is one of the central elements of community policing (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 1994c in Cordner, 1995:5).

Reoriented Police Operations. An essential programmatic feature of community policing is a reorientation of police operations that entails less reliance on random motorized patrol, immediate response to all calls for service, and follow-up investigations by detectives. Studies over the past two decades have convincingly demonstrated the limitations of these traditional police practices and have suggested some promising alternatives.

3.4 Community policing versus conventional policing

Recent researches on CP in the USA illustrate that the increase of the human and material resources as well as technology has not been enough on controlling the boom of crime, nor they help to increase the sensation of safety. Even the rapid response policy created by many countries in 70s helped to decrease the criminality. Hence, many police departments today have increased their use of foot patrol, directed patrol, door-to-door policing, and other alternatives to traditional motorized patrol (Cordner and Trojanowicz, 1992:4). These illustrates the understanding of different police departments around the on creating the CP because it was clearly proved that crime is not just the problem of the state represented by the departments of the police but yes it's a problem of both the state and the citizens living in the community. Therefore, although the CP has not come to substitute the conventional policing, the CP has come to stay and who practices it sees good results.

3.5 Legal framework of CP in Mozambique

The CP in Mozambique has its legal grounds from the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique - CRM; the PEPRM, EDMINT and many other government plans. For instance the CRM brings the duties and rights of the citizens (250,90 noo1, 44 and a), d) and g) of 45 However, most of these legal instruments analyze it as one strategy to combat and prevent crime. Institutionally the CPC are embedded in the community and belong to the community therefore juridical they can be considered as public legal person and their members as administrative agents which has to be differentiated from the state agents, otherwise they could claim for certain rights such as salaries from the state or could not differentiate their area of action which is only in that specific community and not nationally as a police officer. Moreover, CP members can only denounce the cases which has known only in the community (art. 166 CPP) differently to and police officer that does not have limitation within the national territory. For detention, the CP member can act only in the moment of action of the criminal (art. 287 CPP); in other hand, they cannot detain someone outside the moment of action (noo6 of the art 293 CPP).

From the above, one can say that the CP is community driven without proper legislation which does not mean that it has to stop because not all social manifestation are legally framed meaning that if it was possible there could be a lot o papers and nothing could work unless to be legislated. This idea was well elaborated and well argued that "things not legislated that give brings goods results can be carried on and the legislation can come later, meaning that we cannot be stack on the laws, the law is made by the society" [5] 

3.5 Conclusion

Taking in consideration the universal principles of Community Policing such as those that commonly describe the Anglo-Saxony, francophone and the problem-oriented policing models of CP, Mozambique is far away in identifying and considering what has been practiced in connection between the community and the PRM as Community Policing (Reisman and Lalá). Meanwhile the CP makers in Mozambique tray to approach what has been practiced in Mozambique to the francophone model of CP. As result, although the name community policing is still known and considered by the Mozambican entities and the population, the Ministry of Interior with the force of critiques from both intellectual and politicians on malfunctioning of CP and the results of the fist conference of CP in Beira has shifted the name to Conselhos Comunitarios de Seguranca - CCS [6] .

Another problem that is taking down the CP in Mozambique has been the volunteer characteristic that covers the CP. In a country where the majority of the population live below the poverty line starving of hunger due the lack of primary needs such as food, the word volunteer has less power.

Do you see, one day I went for CP, patrolling all night until next morning. Our colleagues came to shift us and I went home. Reaching home, my first 5 years old son was crying and when I asked to his mother the answer was that he wants to eat and there was no food. I sat on a piece of chair trying to figure out where to fetch food and there were no solutions and at the same time I was really exhausted wanting to sleep because I had lost the night. In the next days I went to look for a job and I quitted the CP. Now, I'm working as a private security in someone's house. (Interview with Mr. Mwenhe, ex-CP member in Juba-Matola-Rio, on 20.07.2012)

In a country like Mozambique the CP has to be taken seriously and the element incentives have to be embedded on it otherwise instead of solving problems there could be originated others because in the present times are different from the militias times or the euphoria after the independence and the market is the ruler of individual life. [7] 

Apart from all these pros and cons, the CP brings some expected results.