Factors influencing implementation of community policing programmes :A case of Thika municipality in Kiambu county
The purpose of the study was to establish the factors influencing the implementation of community policing programmes: a case of Thika Municipality in Kiambu County with a view to suggesting strategies that could be employed to improve effectiveness of community policing. The objectives of the study were to: determine the level of community participation in community policy decisionmaking; find out the composition of community policing committees in terms of gender, education, age and religion; establish the attitudes of members of the community towards community policing; determine the attitudes of security officers (police, provincial administration) towards community policing; and propose strategies that could be employed to improve effectiveness of community policing. The study employed a mixed methods research design targeting all the 136,917 residents of Thika Municipality, the District Commissioner (DC) and the Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD), police officers within the area of study, and members of the community policing forums. Stratified random sampling was used to select 383 members of the public, while purposive sampling was employed to select 20 police officers, 10 community policing committee members, the DC and the OCPD. Data was collected by use of questionnaires and interview schedules. Prior to the actual data collection procedure, a pilot study was conducted on a small number of community members from Thika Municipality. The pilot study provided an opportunity to detect and remedy any potential problems with the instruments. Data was both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data collected was coded and entered into an SPSS programme for analysis. Qualitative data was put under themes consistent with the research objectives. The results of data analysis were presented using frequency distribution tables. The study established that the community actively participated community policing. Community policing committee members comprised of security officers, community members, religious leaders and community administrators and the minority. Most of the general public members and security officers had a positive attitude towards community policing, and the positive attitudes led to good working relationships between the police and members of the public, which enhanced the community policing programme. The study found that measures such as ensuring confidentiality of the information, regular meeting to discuss security matters and sensitizing the community on importance of community policing should be implemented to enhance effectiveness of community policing. The study recommends that: the community should work with the security officers to help improve and strengthen community policing; and committee members should sensitize the community on importance of community policing, which can be achieved by organizing regular meetings.