Philosophy and Principles of Community Based Policing (3rd edition)
Before the political upheaval of the 1990s, police forces in the former Yugoslavia and Albania were centralised and repressive components of the state apparatus. Since then, various initiatives have been undertaken to address the numerous problems of police forces in the region. This has provided an opportunity to introduce community based policing (CBP). This policy document aims to set out the principles and key issues of undertaking successful CBP. It emphasises the importance of a strategic management process in undertaking CBP and, based on this, outlines a ‘model’ for CBP.
In contrast to the use of the police by authoritarian governments as a tool of repression and regime support with indistinct duties from the military, CBP focuses on providing a service to meet the public’s needs in an accountable manner and with respect for human rights. The police should operate as the professional side of a partnership between itself and the public to prevent and reduce crime.
For a police force to implement CBP, they should undertake a strategic management process. This document describes a model of CBP in terms of its philosophy, organisational structure, management policy and operational strategy for implementation. A police force at the end of a strategic management process should resemble this model and contain the following components:
- a vision and mission statement outline of what the organisation is seeking to achieve;
- identify focus areas, which should be closely linked to the principles of CBP and adapted to the local context;
- a corporate strategy by which their focus areas are to be realised, showing that the police force is unified behind its goals and what its organisational priorities are in the longer term;
- a strategic development plan setting out in broad terms how the priorities will be achieved within a given timeframe and identifying mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation; and
- a service implementation plan, which as the most detailed part of the strategic management process should convert the priorities expressed in previous statements into meaningful and measurable activities.
The document identifies the following issues as crucial to the success of CBP:
- Leadership is needed to drive reform processes and implement CBP, and this involves holding subordinates to account and dealing with individuals that obstruct reform;
- An understanding of both local and regional context should inform decision making;
- Service standards and monitoring should be introduced to professionalise policing;
- An atmosphere of trust should be established between CBP and other parts of the security and justice sector so that they can communicate and agree common objectives;
- Both the police organisation and the community should feel a sense of ownership of the CBP process;
- Effective partnerships between the police and local communities should be established;
- To make police more accountable to parliament and the public, performance statistics should be published and transparent disciplinary procedures introduced;
- Police corruption should be minimised through strong political will and a robust anti-corruption policy;
- To build CBP capacity, appropriate training for the police in the philosophy and practical implementation of CBP should be introduced; and
- Coordination and coherence between institutions should be enhanced by achieving a broad consensus on the overall objectives of CBP and establishing consultation structures.
Author: SEESAC | Saferworld
Source: SEESAC, UNDP Stability Pact, Saferworld, 2007, 'Philosophy and Principles of Community Based Policing (3rd edition)', South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Belgrade
Size: 48 pages (868 kB)