Securing communities

July 2013
Status: 
Active
Leaders: 
Team: 
Pilar Domingo, Vikki Chambers
Community policing has gained popularity amongst donors,governments, police departments and communities as a mechanism for achieving a diverse range of goals – from crime reduction, to police accountability, to improved state-society relations. Yet while community policing initiatives are widespread across the globe, they manifest very differently from country to country, and there is little consensus on what community policing means, looks like, or aims to achieve.
Overview
Community policing has gained popularity amongst donors,governments, police departments and communities as a mechanism for achieving a diverse range of goals – from crime reduction, to police accountability, to improved state-society relations. Yet while community policing initiatives are widespread across the globe, they manifest very differently from country to country, and there is little consensus on what community policing means, looks like, or aims to achieve.

The Securing Communities project at ODI aims to map the diversity of community policing practices in a variety of country contexts to understand its various forms and what factors shape them. Initial case studies will take place in Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste in 2013-2014.

Funded by DFID and the Asia Foundation, the project aims to assist policy makers, researchers and practitioners in understanding the varied nature of community policing and the implications for their work.

Politics and Governance
Department for International Development (DFID)
The Asia Foundation - http://asiafoundation.org/
Outputs

Securing communities and transforming policing cultures: a desk study of community policing in Jamaica

Publication - May 2014
Victoria Chambers
This case study examines the latest iteration of community policing implemented in Jamaica since 2008/2009 by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). It finds that external actors looking to engage in community policing need to be realistic about what community policing can achieve in a context with the levels of institutionalised violence of Jamaica.

Institutionalising community policing in Timor-Leste: police development in Asia's youngest country

Publication - March 2014
Todd Wassel
As part of ODI’s Securing Communities project, which aims to understand different models of community policing around the world, this case study examines the development of community policing policy and practice in Timor-Leste. As with the Securing Communities project more broadly, the focus is on the diversity of objectives, approaches and methods of community policing, the ‘messy politics’ of its development and what this means for those who aim to support this policing model. This case study examines some key features of community policing policy development and practice in Timor-Leste.

Securing communities for development: community policing in Ethiopia's Amhara National Regional State

Publication - November 2013
Lisa Denney with Demelash Kassaye
With growing interest in community policing internationally as a way of involving communities in their security provision, Ethiopia’s Amhara National Regional State offers a unique perspective. This case study, part of ODI's Securing Communities project, examines how community policing in Ethiopia servies multiple purposes - from sharing the state's burden of policing with customary actors, to reducing crime, involving communities in security provision and contributing to national development.

Securing communities: summaries of key literature on community policing

Publication - November 2013
Sarah Jenkins
This document contains extended summaries of key background texts and readings from both academic and policy literatures which elucidate and debate the definitions, objectives, models and influencing factors of community policing in different contexts. There is an extensive literature on community policing and it was not possible to cover it all in these summaries. What is included here are key contributions to the literature that have been helpful in understanding the different manifestations of community policing around the world. The material is organised alphabetically.

Securing communities: photos from Ethiopia

1 November 2013 - Lisa Denney
These photos depict community policing practices in Ethiopia’s Amhara National Regional State, which were the subject of the case study, Securing communities for development: community policing in Ethiopia's National Regional State.

Securing communities: the what and the how of community policing

Publication - July 2013
Lisa Denney and Sarah Jenkins
Community policing has gained popularity amongst donors, governments, police departments and communities as a mechanism for achieving a diverse range of goals – from crime reduction to improved state-society relations. Yet while community policing initiatives are widespread across the globe, there is little consensus on its definition, objectives or models. Given the ambiguity surrounding its precise meaning, this paper maps the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of community policing, setting out what it means and hopes to achieve, and how it manifests and is shaped by factors such as histories of state-society relations.