Factors influencing implementation of community based policing in Kenya: a case of Nyamira District, Kenya
Mwangi, Danson M.
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Community policing is a relatively new strategy in policing that aims at preventing occurrence of crimes. It is implemented through creating equal partnerships between communities and police departments. Community policing democratizes police departments moving them away from being police forces to police services. The relationship between the members of the public and the police has been historically poor a fact that has led to increased crime rates. In such an environment, community members deny the police important information on crime and criminals. Such a problem can be solved by a well implemented community policing program with a strong foundation of mutual trust between police officers and community members. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence implementation of community based policing in Kenya. The study investigated influence of attitude, funding, vigilantism and training on implementation of community based policing. It was informed by labeling theory which is a branch of symbolic interaction theory. According to the theory, if the community and the police perceive community policing as a failed program, then it becomes difficult to make it a success. Descriptive survey research design was used since it aims at describing an existing phenomenon. The study targeted a population of 405 community policing members in 27 community policing committees and a sample size of 217 respondents was taken. The population was clustered according to administrative units and police stations and random sampling done from those clusters to identify eight respondents per cluster. Purposive sampling was done to identify at least three key informants from each cluster. A questionnaire with five sections was used. The questionnaire targeted 135 respondents and only 85 returned a filled questionnaire hence a 63.0% return rate. An interview guide was also used to get data from key informants. 45 key informants were interviewed out of the targeted 82. A pilot test was carried out in Misesi sub-location of Gucha District. Comments and suggestions made by respondents during pre-testing were considered. Validity was checked using both peer review and expert opinion from two groups of experts on security matters. One group was made up of senior provincial administrators while the other comprised of senior police officers in the District. The senior provincial administrators were requested to assess what concept the instrument was trying to measure while the other group was asked to determine whether the set of items accurately represented the concept under study. Reliability was checked through test/retest method where the researcher carried out two different tests using the same tool. The two tests were subjected to the same group of people but after a difference of two weeks. Scores from both tests were interrelated and a coefficient computed using the Spearman's Rank Correlation method where a coefficient of 0.82 was obtained. A research permit was got from the National Council for Science and Technology before going to the field. The researcher then reported to the Nyamira District commissioner and the District Education Officer. Respondents were given one week to complete and return the questionnaire or have it ready for collection. All filled copies of the questionnaire were checked for data quality and editing done. Coding and tabulation of data was then done before data were analysed using SPSS version computer program. The study found out that more men who are over 50 years dominate community based policing committees. The study also revealed that most committees were not funded by the Government and relied on personal contributions. The study also found out that community members in Nyamira District had not been sensitized on community policing. A policy on training and orientation of community policing members should be developed so as to guide its implementation. The study recommends that further research be done of the same study but in a different location.