The Police Of Republic Of Mozambique Criminology Essay

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Through policies, people might understand the way how they are governed and the impact of the government on their welfare. The Police of Republic of Mozambique (PRM) [1] is a Mozambican Organization having main goal of guaranteeing the maintenance of order, security and public tranquillity. This requires the existence of both principles guiding toward the main goal and practices taken into account by the police officers or the community transforming the principles into actions therefore satisfying the public expectations from a government, such as creating stability, safety, good services and boosts freedom to the citizens. The existence of principles in the police entities such as PRM helps to reduce the lack of discretion serving as guidelines and procedures for police officers reducing the arbitraries and acknowledging the risk factors as result of their decision taking. Furthermore, it helps performance and administrative control over the police officer as well as enhances motivation.

This research paper attempts to answer the questions how principles on crime control policies are taken into consideration by the PRM in their daily activities on crime prevention. The research is based on lessons learned from a case study of Community Policing in the Municipality of Matola. This is achieved by analysing deeply the principles of the CP and practices exercised by both the community and the PRM toward its implementation. The findings demonstrate that the PRM acts without discretion, using experiences as guiding principle for policing, investigation and formation and less satisfies its goals demonstrating a clear contrast between the principles of crime control policies and their practices addressed by lack of resources and poverty that influence the behaviours of both those responsible for crime prevention and the beneficiaries. The research brings more knowledge for the enlightenment in Public Policy Management in context of Mozambique where the scarcity of both research and literature is a true fact. The study also brings some suggestion for overcoming the PRM shortcomings.


Community Policing, PRM, Crime prevention, community, policing, principles and practices.


Crime is a social phenomenon involving the offenders and victims who are in some instant elements of a certain society where traditionally the police have been lonely acknowledged combating and preventing it. In a modern democratic society "with the police no longer the sole guardians of law and order, all members of the community become active allies in the effort to enhance the safety and quality of neighborhoods" (BJA, 1994, p vii) creating this way the so called community policing working together the community and the police on preventing the occurrence of crime or combat it.

1.1 Statement of the problem and justification

One of the fundamental development aims must be to protect citizens from violence, intimidation and to secure their personal property requiring effective state and non-state policing, crime prevention and victim support policies demonstrated as principles, for their implementation can be done accordingly. While many researches such as Greene and Mastrofski (1988) and Goldstein (1987) illustrate the citizen-centred approaches and service delivery on crime control in contrast to traditional 'law enforcement' approaches claiming for public-private partnership. Apart from various socials and economic adjustments which are outside the boundaries of the police control in concomitant with less attention given by the government (Goldstein, 1967), its understood that crime control therefore the crime prevention policies require an great understanding of their principles by decision makers and those responsible for its implementation. This may possibly lead to an outstanding stability, safety and good services delivery which are the public expectations from a government. The Mozambican situation does not stand back away from this situation. The Police of the Republic of Mozambique have crime prevention as its main responsibility among others requiring commitment by the police officers in charge or the community therefore their practice have to be in accord with the respective principles. In reality the situation shows that the practices are far away on reaching the principles that guide their implementation. The PRM is characterized as partisan, inefficient, under-resourced and violent and tactically resembling the pos-colonial policing cultures (Kyed, 2009:356), affecting their practices on crime prevention.

Understanding Sen (1999), one could say that as these remain, the development is undermined because the citizen's freedom as mean for development continues to be high jacked by crime. Efforts have been done to change this scenario in the form of reforms within PRM as well as to the crime prevention policies (Malan, 1999; Seleti, 2000; Chachiua, 2000; Alar, 2010 and Kyed, 2009). Yet the PRM, as most of entities responsible for crime control, acts as "mult-institution" and as have no clear guidelines, compelling the executer to fill the gaps as result of lack of the principles use. In practice, they act without discretion, using individual experiences as guidelines for policing, investigation and training leaving apart the principles and less accomplish the goals (Goldstein, 1967:1132). This demonstrates a clear contrast between the principles of crime prevention policies and their practices resulting impossibility of the PRM to cope with guaranteeing security and stability.

The main issue of this research lies on this existing contrast between the principles of crime prevention policies and the PRM practices as well as of the community in case of CP taken into consideration during their implementation. This research tries to answer the question how the principles of crime control policies are taken into practices by the Police of the Republic of Mozambique. One can attribute the emergence of the principle-practice gap to the PRM background which is much mixed-up with the history of Mozambique. However this research brings a different approach by critically analyse the contrast between the principles of crime prevention policies and their practices as policy framework within a certain social-political and ideological arena, demonstrating that the PRM practices, as of many police entities, are embedded in a political context guided by certain ideology of the government. This is why by analysing critically the principles of Community Policing approach and its implementation in the Municipality of Matola leads us to get a better understanding of the PRM's crime prevention performance.

1.2 Background

PRM, as part of public administration, has obligation to serve the public interest in a country where the dilemma of freedom concept lays on both the silence of the gun shots and the existence of sustainable security for development stimulation. Mozambique, relatively a young country with 36 years of independence, comes from a historical background encompassed by colonial domination and wars. With an area of approximately eight hundred thousand km2, Mozambique is divided in eleven provinces, 129 districts, 405 administrative posts and 43 municipalities (Censo, 2007). Geographically, Mozambique can be found in Southern region of Africa running along the Eastern coastline plated by the Indian Ocean for 2.470 kms. The country is one of the longest in Africa the reason why it borders with many countries such as Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It has a population estimated in 21,669,278 people, of which 52% are women and 33.21 % do live in urban areas (Reisman and Lalá, 2012: p 6).

Under Portuguese rule for approximately five centuries, it was only known as Mozambique in 1891 being comprised before by different kingdoms such as Mwenwmutapa, Marave, Ajaua, and Gaza (Newitt, 1995:v) and declared independent on 25th June 1975 after ten years of uneven liberation war conducted by "Frente de Libertacao de Mocambique, Frelimo", [2] , the party ruling Mozambique since independence (Bowen, 1992:256). This had just last till 1977 when RENAMO started war against the government which ended in 1992 with the Rome Peace Agreement, reaching this way the freedom as result of the silence of the guns. During this period, lasting 16 year of war, the Police of the Republic of Mozambique, with the name of Popular Police of Mozambique (PPM), had a double task, in one hand was fighting RENAMO and in another the criminality. After the war and with the introduction of democratization in 1990 (CRM [3] of 1990), it had undertaken public security responsible for the maintenance of OSTP, the public order, security and tranquillity and had shifted the name from PPM to PRM, Police of Republic of Mozambique (Polícia da República de Moçambique - PRM) by the force of the law 19/92 of 31 of December. PRM has been with new approaches such as demilitarized and professionalized force according to the rule of law and human right (Lala and Francisco, 2006:163 and Kyed, 2009:355). This has implied major changes on legal framework of the police shifting from its broad emphasis on defence of national unity including repression of ethnic and regional individual ideologies and division to the protection of individual rights and liberties; police impartiality; prohibition on torture; stricter regulations for detention; and legal prosecution of law-offending police officers' (ibid and CRM, art. 254).

Similarly there were abolition of popular vigilantes or militias (Grupos Dinamizadores - GV) established after the independence to assist the government in crime control and fighting RENAMO (MINT 2005a in ibid). All the changes made to the PRM were as result of constant reforms based on tackling the formation such as the creation of ACIPOL (Police Academy of Mozambique) created in 1999 and the cancellation of the "basic formation of the police" in Matalane and Dondo police training schools to give space to the project of "reciclagem" [4] which ended in 2000. Additionally there were also the allocation of resources such as infrastructures, vehicles and empowerment of the management (Lala and Francisco, 2006:168).

However, in a country of 21 million inhabitants and 800.000Km2 of territory, the PRM has approximately 1/1050 as ratio of police to inhabitants 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). 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" (Kyed, 2009).

This idea finds support from Lalá and Francisco (2006) quoting a research made by the "Guarda Civil Spanhola" and arguing that the

'... Ministry of the Interior directly interfered with police operations and uncovered many flaws within the organization. The police performed reactively rather than proactively. The general level of education in the force was low, with the result that officers' knowledge and respect for citizens' rights was limited. Poor equipment hampered the force's capabilities' (Lala and Francisco, 2006:165).

This clearly illustrates that the CP has been, not only a form of democratizing the policy and creating a police-community partnership, but also to overcome shortcoming of insecurity as result of high rate of crime and self redress, police violence, mistrust, lack of human and material resources and corruption (MINT 2005a:4, cited by Kyed, 2009, p 334). The Ministry of Interior of Mozambique (MINT) advocates that

"Community policing means the direct involvement of citizens in the security system and policing, giving them responsibility to take part in making the community a secure, ordered and harmonious place. Together with the police authorities, communities will find solutions to the security situation that affects citizens [and] the police will obey [. . .] the values of liberty, equality, [and] respect for human dignity and guarantee the fundamental rights and freedoms as established in the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique. (MINT 2005a, p.5 cited by Keyd, 2009, p357).

Furthermore, CP is broadly considered as the newest police reform in crime prevention policies based on approaches of community as target as well as their participation with a huge support from many stakeholders such as politicians, citizens, police managers emerging as result of lack of satisfaction of later crime prevention policies such as those targeting on the individual (Rosenbaum and Lurigio, 1994: abstract).

Map 1.1

Map of Mozambique

1.3 Research objectives and questions

1.3.1 Research Objectives

The principal objective of this research is to find out and analyse critically the limitation of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique practices to fulfil the principles of the crime prevention policies in the process of guaranteeing security and stability; as well as to understand the causes of this contrast. To accomplish this objective, the research explored the principles of the Community Policing, one of the latest crime prevention approaches being implemented in Mozambique and the actions of the PRM and the community to fulfil these values.

1.3.2 Research Questions

Main question

What can be learned from the principles of Community Policing and their practices in the Municipality of Matola to understand how the principles of crime prevention policies are put into practice by the PRM in Mozambique?


How are the principles that guide CP correlated with the CP practiced in the Municipality of Matola?

How are the PRM practices on crime prevention related to the principles of crime prevention policies?

1.4 Research methodology

1.4.1 The study methods and sources of data

Case study

For methodological approach to this research, a case study analysis on Community Policing (CP) was employed. This has led on qualitative approach of data collection and analysis demanding for sampling in one municipality of Mozambique, Matola, and based on the data of a period of five years (2005-2010). Matola is the second large municipality behind Maputo City with a clear division between the industrial from the residential areas, as well as it shows clearly the classes distinction among the citizens. It's a city in constant expansion where those with monetary power demonstrate their strength by building best and big houses. It competes with the Capital City in terms of high crime rate therefore has a large number of Community Policing Council (CPC) responsible for CP. While Maputo City leads on the crimes against properties, Matola goes in front leading the list of crimes against people, homicides, corporal offences, women and children violations and Human trafficking. The period 2005-2010, was the crucial in which the Government decided to expand the CP to whole region of the country (Kyed, 2009:358) as well as it was seen as turnover of CP procedures in their daily activities.

Therefore, a field work was done in Matola including a nearby area, Juba-Sede which belongs to the area of jurisdiction of Beluluane [5] Police Station, one of the eight polices stations in the jurisdiction of the Command of PRM of the Matola City. This area was chosen not only due to the reason above but also because the exemplar action of their CCP and industrial characteristics as Matola.

The Municipality of Matola, as Beira and Nampula, has classified as City B. It has an area of 375 km² limiting on northwest and north with Moamba district, west and southwest by the Boane district, south and east to the capital city of Maputo and northwest with Marracuene district. The municipality has a population estimated in 672,508 inhabitants lustrating an increase of 58.3% relatively to the last censo (Censo, 2007).

It has been divided into three administrative posts (AP), Matola, Machava and Infulene. The first is where the name Matola comes from and is the part where is found the oldest and most urbanized city, as well as the leading and oldest economic and social infrastructure. The government Hall, as well as the government of the province of Maputo are located in this side and is crossed by the famous "Highway" Maputo-Wittbank. The AP of Matola comprises 13 neighbourhoods, namely Matola A, Matola B, Matola C, Matola D, Matola F, Matola G, Matola H, Matola J, Fomento, Liberdade, Mussumbuluco, Mahlampswene, e Sikwama. The AP of Machava has been transforming from its nature of the previously a suburb of the city of Matola, with an industrial function to medium and medium low residential classes. 12 neighbourhood constitute the AP of Machava: Unidade A, Trevo, Patrice Lumumba, Machava Sede, São Damaso, Bunhiça, Tsalala, km-15, Mathlemele, Cobe, Matola Gare, e Singathela. The AP Infulene arises as result of the extension of the Maputo to Matola from 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" [6] (Mendes de Araujo, 1999:5). The AP of Infulene has 16 neighbourhoods alongside of the Mulauze River. These are as follows, 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.

Map 1.2

Map of Matola

Source: de Araujo, 1999

This terrain extension is under control of 6 police stations (Esquadras) which are divided as follows: AP of Matola, 1a, 2ª, 3a and4ª Esquadras, Machava, 5a Esquadra and Infulene, 6ª and 7a. There are two special esquadras namely Lingamo and Beluluane. The first belongs to Matola industrial park overlapped by the 1ª Esquadra and the second to the Beluluane Industrial Park. Both of them are to control specially to the industrial parks.

Table 1.1

Distribution of Police Stations per neighborhood

Administrative Post


Esquadras/Police Stations


Police Post



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

1a Esquadra

Matola " A"

2a Esquadra

Cinema 700 = Matola "B"

3a Esquadra

Bairro Fumento

4ª Esquadra

Bairro da Liberdade


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

5a Esquadra

Machava Sede


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

6ª Esquadra

Bairro do Infulene

7ª Esquadra

Bairro T3

Source: Adapted by the researcher

Primary data collection

Semi-structured interview

It was conducted to the police officers attached to the Department of Operation, area responsible for operative planning both at provincial (Provincial Command of Maputo) and national levels, police officers on different sub-unities, leaders or chiefs and members of CPC and local people. From this group of interviewee, the analyses were done through the answer of the question: how the practices of PRM follow the principles of crime prevention policies by answering how the CP has been implemented.

In depth-interview

The focal point for this were initially three MPs members of the "Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Human Rights and Legality" [7] , social and cultural, each one from each of the three parties represented in the Parliament, but in the period in which the research took place the totality of the MPs were in their areas of jurisdiction and others for example those from the FRELIMO were occupied with unlimited meeting preparing to their X Congress to be held on September in the north province of Cabo Delegado. Two MPs were interviewed. This process was extensive to many targets sources of the research such the Minister of Interior and other senior officers within PRM. Few were the one that the researcher had opportunity on getting their ideas, opinions and overview about the topic. Open-ended interview was used with questions based on CP as crime prevention policy, the processes on muddling of the CP as crime prevention policy and the principles of CP. Meanwhile these gave a broad view of CP in terms of policy framework based in principles that support their practices in Mozambique.

Focus Group discussion (FGD)

A number of three focus group discussions was organized in Matola involving police officers, CPC's leaders and elements and locals where the gender issue was really critical due to the lack of existence of females. The FGD were made with 5, 8 and 10 elements in the areas of Juba, Matola C and Dlavela, respectively. The FGD helped to understand the following: how they do the PC, why the practices of CP are done as such, why they do have the presented understanding about the PC. The problems uncounted and their inputs as possible solutions were also taken into considered. In this, snowball sampling strategy was used and the ethical issues such as those related with power and gender were really taken into consideration although in these areas hierarchies and cultural issues take control of these matters.


A checklist was used helping on collecting data involving the dairy activities of the police officers and members of CP. These took place in the police sub-units (esquadra/police stations), in the CPCs and in the streets where some of the police activities were taking place. The main objective was to analyse the implementation of the crime prevention policies helping to obtain the information about transformation of the principles into practice.

Documents analysis

Although less has been written about the PRM daily activities, some documents that were produced as result of the PRM daily activities principally on CP were analysed. These boosted with daily reports made by the executers, the police officers and members of the CP. The DEIPLA has just bounded itself in statistics and reports about these numbers. Reports and statistical data grouped periodically in 3, 6 or 12 months were analysed and interpreted. At high level such as at Commando Geral, there were no organized data for the period in which was asked; accordingly, the researcher had to go to grounded sources that feed this meaning the Commando of PRM in Maputo City and the Maputo Province.

Secondary data collection

The primary data collection methods flows together with secondary data collection methods such as internet where were found e-journals with theories related not only to the CP but also to the principles of crime prevention in general as well as cases studies in CP, Police and crime prevention. These together with books, papers and news papers were used for literature review. The data were also found on videos and photographs. Additionally there were an historical analysis regarding to data recorded or written of events from the past which are related to the principles and practices of PRM in Matola and within the period of study. Secondary data collection helped not only in triangulation of both collected data in the field and the literature but also helped on framing the concepts used in this research such as crime prevention policy, CP, principle and practice and PRM.

1.5 Data analysis

The data analysis is based on analytic induction; constant comparative analysis and grounded theory have been built. This was done by writing the case summaries, comparing the findings, explain them and compare with other collected sources from documents. Triangulation strategy was also used for "cross-check" the data for liability (Marshall and Rossman, 2011:220-221).

1.6 Sample selection

Two sampling strategies had been used: simple random and snowball sampling and sampling. The first, consisted on identifying targeted population a list was made for each group then randomly MPs and generals, police officers occupying high ranking positions or not, members of CP and the population were interviewed. And the second, the strategy was non random sampling where from the simple random sampling the police sub-units, the CPC as well as the elements for the group discussion and some for interview were identified.

1.7 Moral, ethics and limitations of the study

The researcher found it difficult to get both the key persons in the Ministry of Interior (MINT) and some data. The first was due to their sporadic agendas following meetings and keeping them for long time away from their offices and acceptance from their superiors. The second one was dues to lack of policy of data processing and collection which characterises the PRM at any levels. In general, the secrecy that surrounds the police task and the national bureaucracy culture has been the main reasons.

Another concern is the literature related to the topic, principally related to Mozambique itself and in the area of police where less has been written, helped by pear review of lectures from other countries describing the same or similar topic and theory. And the last, but not the least, the resources for the research might be scarce.

Regarding to the ethic issues, the researcher had respected all ethical or moral principles such as 'respect for persons, beneficence, and justice' (Marshall and Rossman, 2011). For instance, many of the members of the PRM that were interviewed declared that they do not want to be cited even to see their name mentioned.

1.8 organization of the paper

Apart from the introductory chapter, this paper is structured as follows: Chapter two revises the literature and brings the theoretical and conceptual framework where different concepts are debated; this is followed by the Chapter three which illustrates the main findings of the fieldwork bringing the Principles of crime prevention and their practices in Mozambique which is understood by analysing the CP in Matola. Having experienced the reality of crime prevention from the case study in Matola, Chapter four brings the uniqueness of PRM practices in the crime prevention while the Chapter five provides the main conclusion and tries to lift up some recommendations on crime prevention.