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Challenges of Community Policing in Nigeria

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume: 11 Issue: 3 Dated: Autumn 2009 Pages: 285-293
Lanre Olusegun Ikuteyijo
Date Published
9 pages
This paper examines the challenges to and constraints on community policing in Nigeria.
The effectiveness of community policing depends on the public having confidence and trust in the police. Trust in the police is not prevalent in Nigeria. The police must clear their rank and file of corrupt officers and limit the involvement of police agencies in partisan politics, since community policing requires that officers be viewed by the community as unbiased public servants rather than as tools of oppression for ruling political parties. Police training must also focus on developing skills and qualities related to effective community policing. This means officers should be schooled in liberal subjects such as sociology, psychology, and political science. This will facilitate officers' involvement in community development and positive interactions with community residents. Community policing forums must also be broadened to include residents from all ethnic, religious, occupational, and age groups in the community, so that all residents' needs and perspectives are included in discussions of community issues and problems. Another major constraint on community policing is underfunding. Community policing requires much greater funding than traditional policing, since it requires that all officers be trained and retrained, more modern crime-fighting equipment, and morale-building pay raises for officers. An additional issue bearing on the success of community policing in Nigeria is the emergence of local vigilante groups to fight crimes in communities where police have done little to maintain law and order. Local governments should promote regular local seminars to enlighten vigilantes on their roles, limitations, and their cooperation with the police force. 2 notes and 17 references