Partnership Between the Police and Community Policing on Enhancing Security in Kwale County, Kenya
Ngereso, Khamisi Stephen
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The purpose of this study was to find out whether partnership between the police and community policing can enhance security in Kwale County. The police service is one of the public service institutions in Kenya which is among the most controversial. The police in Kenya as well as anywhere else in the world have been riddled with a lot of complaints which range from malpractices, excessive use of force to corruption. This has caused lack of trust from the members of the public who iinstitutions which is mandated to protect and safeguard their interest and as a result it widen the gap between the police and community, which leads to insecurity. This has led to mushrooming of a lot of illegal grouping in Kenya, namely Chingororo in Kisii, Baghdad Boys in Kisumu, Msumbiji in Kakamega, Mungiki in Nairobi, Saboat Land Defence Forces in Mount Elgon and Mombasa Republican Council in Kwale and many more. To this end, this study intended to address the disconnect that affects the partnership between the police and community policing in addressing insecurity. It was thus guided by three objectives: to determine the effectiveness of the partnership in policing between the police and the community in Msambweni Sub-County; to establish the modalities of building partnerships between the police and the community in Msambweni Sub-County; and to identify the challenges that hinder partnerships between the police and the community in Msambweni Sub-County. The data was collected using questionnaires and interview guide documents from the police officers based in Diani, the general public; the community policing committee members; and the members of the Sub-County Security Intelligence Committee. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods were utilized so as to provide answers to the research objectives. Accordingly, the study revealed that the partnership between the police and the community policing programme is effective. Research participants strongly disagreed that the partnership is a waste of time and that it is not real police work. They were unanimous that the partnership has helped to reduce insecurity in their neighbourhoods, albeit not completely. The study also found that citizen mobilization, situational prevention and neighbourhood watch programs were some of the modalities that were popularly applied by the security stakeholders to enhance the partnership between the police and the community policing. Lastly, the study revealed that a negative attitude of some junior police officers who are still stuck in the past is curtailing community policing partnership. They are yet to embrace the change from the police force to the police service, which emphasizes building partnerships with civilians to provide security. Issues of trust also emerged as a challenge to the partnership building, where the police were accused by the community of betraying them to the criminals once they have furnished them with the intelligence needed. Community policing members also decried their lack of compensation for the work they perform, something that has made it difficult to recruit more members. It was therefore recommended that the short courses be offered to the police officers to underscore the importance of community policing. It was also recommended that a further research be done using the same variables but with a large sample size so as to evaluate this study’s replicability.