Community Policing in Nigeria: A Critical Analysis of Current Developments
Ordu, Gilbert Enyidah-Okey;
Nnam, Macpherson U
This article critically examines the current developments in community policing in Nigeria. Community policing is a strong partnership, collaborative efforts of police and members of the public with a view to protecting lives and property at the neighbourhood level. With effective community policing in place, public safety is guaranteed. It increases public awareness that victims and their offenders are community members, and that police are both community members and State agents of social control, who are concerned about crime prevention and control in society where they are also members. This policing approach helps police to identify, analyse and incisively address societal problems with full supports of community members. Police-community partnership, police-community information sharing, and police involvement in community affairs as salient programmes/strategies for effective community policing equally obtain in Nigeria. However, challenges such as bribery and corruption, human rights abuse, public loss of trust/confidence, meddlesome attitudes of political godfathers in police-community affairs, lack of visionary schemes, and unnecessary use of coercion and threats to enforce public compliance with rules, have frustrated every effort to improve and stabilise police-public co-operation which is a precondition for effective community policing. It is therefore high time the Nigeria police and local residents began to imbibe the culture of rectitude, social justice, and total conscience-overhauling so as to reach an understanding and maintain mutual support necessary for proactive community policing in the country.
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