Community Policing: A Panacea To Sustaining Internal Security - By Michael Ogungbemi


Community policing, a panacea to sustaining internal security in the rural communities.

By Michael Ogungbemi 

We Advocate that the State Government adopts and strengthens Community Policing as a panacea for sustainable solution to internal security of our people especially living in the rural community in the country.

Community policing or community-oriented  policing, is strategy of policing that focused on building ties and working closely with members of the community.

Community policing is defined as involving three key components

a. Developing community partnership
b. Engaging in problem solving
c. Implementing community policing organisational features.

Community-oriented policing involves officers and men of the Nigerian police partnering with  their communities security system (village hunters, night watchmen and vigilantee's in a strategic policing tactics and best method on

1. Information gathering (volunteer information on  suspicious characters /activities)

2.  Surveillance (making use of private guards and neighborhood watch groups for monitoring)

3.  Patrolling (supplementing police patrol)

If the community vigilantee are appropriately funded, exposed to related security trainings and  equipped with the needed resources and security gadgets, it will help solve problems and to attack the core problems that lead to crime in the first place, it thoughts to foster better relations between police and communities they serve.

It has been long research by well known security studies which identified three main policing styles as

 1. Watch man
2. Legalistic
3. Service styles.

The watch man style places an emphasis on maintaining order, but through an informal methods with focus on resolving disputes, but not focus on preventing disputes, just to keep peace, which is popular in rural, small town communities.

2. Legalistic styles:
this style places an emphasis on violators of law and relies on threats of arrest or actual arrests with focus on resolving disputes as enforcers of criminal laws and setting order, it adopt formal methods, popular in large cities.

3. Services style placed much emphasis on the enlightenment and  education of criminals before prosecution and eventual prosecution of criminals, who cannot be redeemed through  alternative disputes resolution.

The community oriented policing works effectively   in creating understanding  between the police and community security network about their role in crime preventions, supplemented police patrols through private guards and neighborhood watch groups, education, capacity building, enhancing Nigerian police personnel and members  of the community security network to enable constructive participation in addressing the problem of crime, providing training, evaluating, shared responsibility with regards to safety and security needs.

Prince Michael Ogunbemo (PMO) writes from Ekiti State.

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