Crime prevention using community policing
According to Miyazawa (1995), crime prevention is a desirable act which is being taken by different authorities who utilize different strategies of preventing crime. Criminal activities in the society emanate from different actions which result in crime scenes in the society. These scenes are often aggravated by actions of crime prevention authorities as well as the civilians. A good example of such scenes is the King Cross shooting that took place on 21st of April this year. It is argued that several strategies could have adopted to prevent such a crime from happening. Crime prevention strategies only provide effective and sustainable solution to problems of crime if they are correctly and comprehensively implemented. This paper gives a critical account of utilizing crime preventing policing in preventing the crime scene mentioned above. The paper will center on community policing as a crime prevention strategy.
Crime prevention through community policing strategy
Fisher and Lab (2010) argue that the prevention of crime is in itself a process that is attained by setting and implementing several strategies which will make the process successful. Community policing is one of the strategies that have been utilized in maintaining crime free environments in different scenarios. It is one way of preventing crime or maintaining law and order through the continuous participation of community members. Community policing appreciates the work and role of law enforcing agencies like the police in preventing crime. It also seeks to increase the efficiency of crime prevention agencies by helping then in identifying and sealing holes from which crime might emanate.
Taking a brief look at the crime scene case mentioned here, incidences of lawlessness are evident in the place where the scene took place. Crime is present in that community and starts from early ages denoting cases of child delinquency. This is evident from the statement that police discovers a drive of a car which had been stolen. This was at 4am and the driver was only 14years old. The drive had been known to the police for a long time. On seeing the police, the driver who was carrying a passenger tried to escape. In doing so, he caused more ravage by striking pedestrians and colliding with a taxi. In trying to save the pedestrian who had been trapped under the car, they caused more ravage by shooting other people. This can be termed as a case in which the crime was not properly detected and managed. It reveals that poor management of crime can lead to other risky occurrences.
From this case, it can be noted that crime prevention is important as it puts people on alert over criminal incidences thus preventing derivative impacts. Community policing is one of the most proactive preventative strategies in crime management. Community policing employs the entire player in the community in addressing crime issues in thee community. The players include all the civilians who are often the victims of crime, the local administration, as well as the responsible security organs in the community. In community policing, the origin of crime is given the greatest attention. In other words community policing embraces crime preventing by sealing the loopholes from which crime emanate. The main assumption under this strategy is that crime affects everyone in the society and thus it is the responsibility of every person to work towards preventing crime (Palmiotto and Unnithan, 2011). In thee crime case, most of the victims of the crime incidence were not direct participants in the incidence but they were still directly affected. Therefore, the community has to participate in the enforcement of law in the society.
While it has proved to be a common practice of dealing with crime in the society, community policing is a very involving process which is build through consensus on action. To begin with, the assessment of the security has to be done in order to identify security problems in that community. The framework for community actions and participation in crime prevention is based on the assessment report on crime in that community. This is the first and most critical step in crime prevention through community policing. People are made to understand the case for crime in the society and its effects, thence the need to participate in preventing crime. After the assessment of the situation, the stakeholders are convened to give their views on how to handle the situation. A relationship has to be established between all the played in the community. In our case, there are three major segments of participants in crime prevention. These are the civilians, the police and the administration. These participants must work in unity so as to achieve the ultimate goal; preventing crime in the community. The police have to bee briefed on how top work with the civilians in detecting criminal. Criminals reside within the population and can be easily noted by the community members (Kappeler and Gaines, 2012).
For a good relationship top be struck between the police and the civilians, both the police and the community members will be required to change their way they work. The police have to be taught ion how to be attentive and responsive to cases as raised by the civilians. The police must be enlightened on how to change the held perception about them for example, eliminating incidences of police brutality. An example of police brutality was witnessed in the case where the police manhandle a passenger by pulling and kicking the passenger out of the vehicle. Such cases make the community to freak from working with the police to prevent crime (Miller, Hess and Orthmann, 2011).
The community on other hand will be taught on the importance of working to enhance security through establishment of contact with the police where they can easily report crime. In community policing, the community is the major force in crime prevention. Palmiotto and Unnithan (2011) observe that the participation of the community in enhancing law and order is quite comprehensive. The community participates through community mobilized groups, individuals, religious and social groups among others. The role of the civilians is to detect and report all cases of crime to the respective law enforcement agencies within their jurisdiction. This includes the police and the local administration. These agencies investigate such cases and take action of prosecuting law breakers in the community. The community should be empowered in different ways. Of great importance is the training on how to detect criminal and crime and how to deal with minor cases of crime (Skogan and National Institute of Justice (U.S), 2000). The community is also trained on how to transform criminals in the society. Child delinquency is eliminated as children with delinquent tendencies are identified on time and appropriate steps taken to correct them. The fourteen year old driver of the stolen car in this case would have been identified and earlier and appropriate corrective steps taken it community policing was already in place (Mackey and Levan, 2012).
According to Arrigo and Shipley (2005), criminal tendencies grow in people as they continue taking part in crime. One of the objectives that have to be featured in community policing is identifying people with such tendencies from early age. This helps in eliminating all the possibilities of hard crime in the society. Taming juvenile criminal tendencies is a precursor to a crime-free society. The community will keep checking on cases and the record of crime in the community in a progressive way. This happens once the relationship between the police, law enforcement agencies and the community is established and strengthened. The community has to get assurance of protection from the law enforcement agencies in discharging their duties. Through meetings of all stakeholders, arising issues are discussed and suggestions of dealing with the issues debated and ironed out. The police are enlightened on how to better deal with criminals in order to prevent spreading off the harm to the population. In community policing, the population is also taught on how to work on enhancing their personal security. One way of enhancing personal security is by ensuring that one moves in secure places. It should be noted that community policing is not an absolute guarantee of crime prevention in the community as it is subjected to several weaknesses. Among these weaknesses is the problem of coordination between the major players (Mackey and Levan, 2012).
As observed in the discussion, community policing is one of the means of the strategies of preventing crime in the society. The major benefits of community policing is that crime reduction is enforced by the entire community through improved relations between law enforces and the civil population. It is a desired step in crime prevention.
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