Community Policing

This sub-section examines the topic of community policing within the framework of post-conflict peacebuilding processes.  The first section dissects definitions of community policing and provides a brief background to the emergence and evolution of the concept of community policing.  It then explores how the relationship between policing, the state, and the maintenance of public order has been achieved.  Succeeding sections examine the way community policing has been implemented as a part of peacebuilding activities, including the kind of actors involved and the activities associated with this concept.  The last sections analyze the challenges to implementation and present the case studies of Kenya, South Africa, Kosovo, Solomon Islands, East Timor and Haiti.
Overall, the lack of clarity in the definition of community policing points to a number of problems.  Most evidently, the wide-range of activities that are considered to be community policing reflects the contrasting and often conflicting ways in which public order is seen and achieved. At the same time, the diverse interpretations of what is considered to community policing by different actors leaves much to be desired in terms of selecting the most appropriate activities for a particular context. The significant differences between communities in their attitudes to formal law enforcement organizations and its role also continue to challenge efforts to implement community policing.  In particular, in areas where the police themselves are regarded as major perpetrators of crime and human rights abuses, and where rule of law and justice institutions are still weak, community policing initiatives have been met with a series of setbacks.

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