Challenges Facing The Implementation Of Community Policing Strategy In The Urban Areas: A Case Study Of Kibra Sub-county, Nairobi, Kenya
Community policing is now a global phenomenon and is indeed a clear departure from traditional policing, that was reactive and incident based, to a problem-solving oriented policing. Government of Kenya implemented community policing as a measure of reducing the gap between the police and the community in order to curb insecurity. However, this policy has not fully realised its key objectives; which are, securing citizens’ lives and property and ensuring law and order in the country. The current study therefore sought to establish challenges hindering successful implementation of the community policing initiative in urban areas in Kenya, specifically Kibra Sub-County of Nairobi. The objectives of the study were to assess the extent to which the level of understanding of the basic community policing principles, access to policing resources, structural and administrative weaknesses and socio-cultural challenges that affect the implementation of the community policing programmes. The findings of this study may help the Kenyan Government to assess the performance of community policing strategy in order to solve the security problems facing the country. The study was based on the Normative Sponsorship Theory, Broken Windows Theory and social resource theory and had targeted 7 commanding officers and 12 community policing committee members and 650 regular police officers. Data from the field were coded and presented in tables and graphs. Qualitative data were analysed using content/narrative analysis while quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used in analysing the data. The study findings revealed that challenges facing implementation of community policing include low levels of awareness of community policing principles among police officers and members of the community as a result of inadequate training and sensitisation. The study also revealed that access to community policing resources, structural and administrative weaknesses and socio-cultural challenges were the challenges facing the implementation of community policing. The study recommends that the government and non-governmental organisations should provide in-service training for police officers in community policing. Community policing forums should organise more sensitisation meetings for members of the community on community policing in order to build their capacity to effectively participate in community policing initiatives. The government should provide more resources for police officers and community policing forums. The government should facilitate capacity building of police officers and community forums on administration of community policing through training. The government and other stakeholders should be sensitised on communities’ social dynamics in order to create more understanding and eliminate mistrust which might negatively affect the implementation of community policing. Since the study was confined to Kibra Sub-county of Nairobi County, a similar study should be replicated to other counties. A similar study should also target county administrators and members of the public.