The Role Of Police-Community Relations In Combating Crime

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

The Role Of Police-Community Relations In Combating Crime


Abstract


The aim of this research was to examine the role of police-community relations in combating crime in Uyo local government of Akwa Ibom State. However other specific objectives are to examine the role of police-community relations in combating crime; to assess the relationship between the police and community in combating crime; to examine the challenges of police-community relations in combating crime; and to provide suggestions on how to improve the police-community relations in combating crime. The study employed the survey research design and the stratified random sampling technique was used in selecting respondents.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

The community relies upon the police to “protect and serve”, and the police in return rely upon the community’s support and cooperation in order to be effective. When there is good police–community relations, police have a better understanding of the public’s concerns (especially those that are crime related),and citizens are more inclined to report crimes that occur to the police, provide tips/intelligence to law enforcement, willingly serve as witnesses, and are happy to participate in jury trials. By extension preventing crimes before they occur or minimize their impact, instead of simply react to calls for service. Good police–community relations prevent the possibility that the public thinks that police are simply a mechanism for intelligence collection.

Police-community relations refer to the ongoing and changing relationship between the police and the communities they serve. This includes issues of cooperation, race relations, and fear of police, violence, and corruption. In other words, no matter how well equipped the police department may be, its efficiency and effectiveness will largely remain a potential if it fails to establish a good relationship with its host community (Ross, 1995).Peel (1829) undertook the reorganization of the London police with the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829, he and the two key commissioners that he appointed, Charles and Richard emphasized that the police should work in cooperation with the people to protect the rights, serve the needs, and earn the trust of the members of the community (Critchley, 1967; Reith, 1952). Writing at the turn of the century, Lee (1971) discussed Peel’s principles of law enforcement. According to Lee, police officers are “public servants in the fullest sense of the term” (Ross, 1995).

The concept of police-community relations has gained a secure level of acceptance in the law enforcement establishment and in urban government. Acceptance, in a working sense, means that proposals to establish and maintain such programs have a fair chance of success (Cox, 1996).The concept of Police-Community Relationships (PCRs) is very important to understanding of the role of the police in society and the ways in which communities can render assistance to the police in discharging these roles as effectively as possible.

For example, in order for the police to carry out their crime control, peace/order maintenance, traffic control and emergency management functions effectively, it must work with residents of their host communities and see themselves as partners in the same community. If the community residents have cause to suspect the police or consider them as an army of occupation they will withdraw their cooperation and unrest will reign in such a community. Therefore, “Police-community relationship must be two-way partnerships” because “in a democratic society, the legitimacy of the police depends on broad and active public acceptance and support” (Dempsey and Forst 2008: 288).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Police-community relations refer to the ongoing and changing relationship between the police and the communities they serve. This includes issues of cooperation, race relations, and fear of police, violence, and corruption. In other words, no matter how well equipped the police department may be, its efficiency and effectiveness will largely remain a potential if it fails to establish a good relationship with its host community (Ross, 1995). On this background the research wants to investigate the role of police community relation in combating crime


1.3 Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain the role of police in combating crime community
  2. To ascertain the relationship between police and the community
  3. To ascertain whether police can combat crime in the community

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there is no role play by police in combating crime community
    H1: there is role play by police in combating crime community
  2. H02: there is no relationship between police and the community
    H2: there is relationship between police and the community

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will give a clear insight on the role of police community relation in combating crime. The study will be beneficial to the students, communities, Nigeria police force and the general public. It will serve as a reference to other researcher that want to embark on this topic


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the role of police community relation in combating crime. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


1.7 Definition of Terms

Police Community:

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

Relation:

The way in which two or more people or things are connected; a thing’s effect on or relevance to another

Crime:

An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the role of police community relation combating crime. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of the role of police community relation combating crime


5.2 Summary

This study was on the role of police community relation combating crime. Four objectives were raised which included: To ascertain the role of police in combating crime community, to ascertain the relationship between police and the community, to ascertain whether police can combat crime in the community. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected Nigeria police station in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made police corporals, police superintendents, senior officersand junior officers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

There is every need to reposition the police in Nigeria to conform to what is obtainable in other countries of the world. Security is a very sensitive issue and no nation can afford to toy with it. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigerian society and seems intractable, but the situation can be remedied given disciplined and forthright leadership and a citizenry that is united in its resentment to corruption. The police force as an institution is one that the Nigerian society cannot do without. It is however, necessary that in-depth and comprehensive reforms be carried out within it to make it a force that will satisfactorily discharge its constitutional duties without alienating, or making itself an enemy, of the Nigerian people.


5.4 Recommendation

To enhance community policing in Nigeria, it is recommended that: There should be serious retraining towards attitudinal change and professional efficiency and proficiency among both the rank and file and other officer cadre of the police. There is need for the police to improve its public relationship. They should see Nigerians as their fellow human beings who deserve to be treated with a high level of courtesy and decorum. The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency equip the police with ultra modern arms and ammunitions as well as security gadgets.

This has become necessary now more than ever to enable the force fight the gruesome scourge of armed robbery and orchestrated kidnappings ravaging the entire length and breadth of the country. Nigerians should help the police to discharge their duties optimally. They could do this through giving vital information to them on the activities of undesirable elements in the society. Such invaluable information could help the police to perform creditably. The police should be shielded from political appointments.

The role of law enforcement in any civilized society is to serve and protect the citizens. This is because political appointments corrupt the officials, destroy spirit de corps, skew their sense of neutrality and impartiality, and infuse a sense of allegiance to appointing authority. It is a major obstacle to police effectiveness and must be discouraged at all cost if improved police performance must be achieved. There is the need for Government to steadily increase logistic funding, so that the police can work towards attaining the standard patrol practice of developed countries. There should be a massive injection of funds into the police force so that operational and logistics equipment can be acquired.


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