Community Policing Strategies and their Effectiveness in Crime Management in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Garissa County, Kenya
Yunus, Samir Adhuman
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Community policing seeks to promote organizational strategies aimed at systematic partnerships approach to problem-solving in security operation. It seeks to proactively address conditions that affect public safety including crime and social order and their adverse effects. Crime has been largely associated with poor economy, bad health, and psychological issues among victims. The study is founded on the assumption that the police may not be able to handle crime related challenges satisfactorily without the involvement of the community within which criminals thrive, plan and execute their motives. The study was carried out in Dadaab refugee camp which shelters the highest population of refugees in Kenya and the second largest in the world. The study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of community policing strategies in crime management in Dadaab Refugee Camp as a case study. The specific objectives of the study included: Analysing community policing characteristics adopted in Dadaab; evaluating the effectiveness of community policing strategies with regard to crime management; analysing the challenges facing community policing as a crime management initiative and finally examining ways of making community policing strategies more effective in crime management in Dadaab Refugee Camp. The study was informed by the Broken Windows Theory which assumes that if trivial crimes are not addressed by communities, they will result to dangerous crimes. The target population for the study was the refugees and the senior police in Dadaab Refugee Camp. By use of Yamane formula, a sample size of 111 respondents were selected for the study out of a total of a total population of 255,600 community members. The research design adopted was cross sectional survey in which both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were employed. Primary data was collected using questionnaires and interview guides. To test the validity and reliability of the questionnaires, a pilot study was carried out in addition to test pre-test methods of validity checks. The study found out that utilization of neighbourhood watch, neighbourhood town meetings, utilization of civilian education, and decentralization of the police authority were the most effective community policing strategies adoption in Dadaab Refugee Camp. The results further indicated that community policing adoption, community policing strategies used, and crime management in Dadaab Refugee Camp were positively and significantly related. However, the major challenge associated with community policing practice in Dadaab Refugee Camp included lack of support from the police management, lack of integrity among the police and lack of awareness on community policing operations. Nevertheless, such challenges encountered during community policing had no significant effect on crime management in Dadaab Refugee Camp. The study recommends civic education by the police to discuss with the community their role in security management and crime prevention and encourage ownership of the practice by the local communities.