OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR COMMUNITY POLICING
The Police are the most visible institution
of the security sector and their functions impact on
the entire citizenry. Community policing is a new style
of policing that is responsive to the needs of local
communities; a force multiplier that contributes to
Within the context of the Police Reforms,
the Police are equally required to display a complete
attitudinal transformation. A police that is seen to
have changed its character, making a break from past
practices and working in partnership with communities
offers profound resonance to creating
a partnership. But the Police will not build legitimacy
in a society where a uniformed officer is more a cause
for fear than a source of protection. Where legacies
of mistrust are not overcome, creating a new culture
of trust and cooperation will be difficult to forge.
Community policing is therefore predicated on shedding
suspicion and stereotypes and forging a working relations.
Community policing is not a one time
venture but a continuous process.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY
Community policing is both a philosophy
(a way of thinking) and an organizational strategy (a
means to implement out that philosophy), that allows
the police and community to work together to solve problems
of crime and insecurity. Community policing rests on
two core pillars:
a. Adopting policing practices that
involve communities in making decisions about their
b Establish a long-term partnership
between communities and the Police.
The following are the fundamental principles
of community policing:
a. Policing by consent rather than by
b. The police and the community working
c. Identifying the security priorities
of the community.
d. Tailoring policing to meet community
needs and priorities.
The successful implementation of community
policing requires a monumental leap of faith by both
the police and the public and a commitment to effect
change. It is also a complex process that requires action
to be taken at multiple levels and the requisite planning
to translate the strategy into practice, both within
the Kenya Police and among the public. It is critical
that communities set realistic and achievable objectives
in this venture.
The Kenya Police has conducted the necessary
training in the contents and the modalities of community
policing, specifically targeting the middle and lower
rank officers, who will be charged with implementing
The greatest handicap in community policing
is transcending the shift in paradigm necessary for
attitudinal transformation from the current adversarial
posture characterized by mistrust and mutual blame to
one of partnership and cooperation. Ultimately, the
objective is to isolate criminals.
a. The community will be responsible
for mobilization and organization of the community committees
they select to engage their Police Station on crime
b. Community policing encourages broad,
but not unlimited role for the community and sets to
guard against creating unrealistic expectations of police.
c. The community must reciprocate by
providing criminal intelligence and cooperating with
d. The Police mandate will be determined
on a problem by problem basis within the context of
the specific problem being addressed.
e. The Police will encourage input from
community while preserving ultimate decision in cognizance
of its functions in law.
f. Both the community and the Police
must create a working partnership and mutual confidence
to solve security problems and desist from unnecessarily
blaming each other.
The planning and design of this strategy
has been tailor-made to address circumstances peculiar
to each community. Each party will need to be clear
on the principles of community policing, while remaining
flexible about adapting it to the context of their localities.
OF THE ENGAGEMENT
The definition of priorities of the
engagement should include:
a. Key safety and security challenges
that emanate from the community’s assessment of
b. Particular areas of focus, such as
specific safety and security problems relating to a
particular region or social group.
c. Security advice by the Police.
The Kenya Police has identified the
following as the initial objectives necessary to roll
out the community policing strategy. These form the
baseline requirements that are common to all communities
This includes the following:
a. Immediate formation of community
b. Identification of critical areas
of local intervention in keeping with needs of each
c. Gathering of criminal intelligence.
d. Safeguarding the identity of informers.
e. Create a standardized operating procedure
in conducting Community Policing meetings.
AND INDICATORS FOR EVALUATION
The Kenya Police has set internal benchmarks
and indicators to monitor the implementation. These
are simple, realistic and inexpensive measures. The
indicators should comprise:
a. A balanced checklist of activities.
b. Responsiveness or resistance by the
Police or community.
c. Statistics of implementation in terms
of crime reduction.
Creating conflict resolution mechanisms
is a key tenet of our Community Policing strategy that
enables the Police to solve disputes or conflicts in
partnership with the communities they serve. This is
a collaborative measure that does not prevent parties
from going to court to seek legal redress. Conflict
resolution mechanisms include:
a. Village or community committees that
enable the Police to conduct collaborative conflict
b. Linkages between these mechanisms
and Government structures like District Security Committees.
MANAGING THE IMPLEMENTATION
The Kenya Police will monitor the progress
of the strategy through its chain of command, particularly
during its early stages. Important features will include:
a. Pilot Projects – Pilot activities
will be conducted to and replicable in other Stations.
Such pilot projects offer the opportunity to test approaches
and re-adjust if necessary.
b. Accountability Structures –
Each Community Policing committee will be accountable
to its own community through accountability structures
that include internal review meetings and mechanisms
and community barazas. Each community will prioritize
its own work plans.
Community-Based Policing can be a cement
for security and development. A Police Force supported
by the community and capable of arresting insecurity
can have a far-reaching impact in enabling a lasting
economic, social and political development. However,
as international efforts have so far indicated, reforming
a Police organization, re-orienting their shoddy public
image and improving their service delivery, means facing
daunting political, financial, logistical and historical
Achieving lasting and effective reform
requires addressing issues of management, leadership,
political will, set attitudes, established behaviours
and negative public perceptions. It's very complexity
can be intimidating. Nonetheless, its centrality means
that it is an issue that cannot be shied away from.
With Police reforms now undertaken,
it is paramount that there should be a clear understanding
of what it entails and how is should be undertaken.
It is hoped that this guide will be useful in both situating
Community-Based Police reform within border policy debates,
and guiding those planning the implementation.