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Community Policing

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Pelser describes the second principle as, “The principle that emphasize community policing to imply shifts within the department that grants greater autonomy which is the freedom to make decisions to line officers, and imply enhanced respect for their judgement as police professionals.” (2002: p4). Within the community, citizens must share in the rights and responsibilities implicit in identifying, prioritizing and solving problems as full-fledged partners with the police.” (2002: p4). The third principle is of Decentralized and personalized policing which raises an emphasis in implementing true community policing, police departments must create and develop a new breed of line officer who act as a direct link between the police and the community.” Pelser (2002: p5). These principles had played a major role in fighting against crime in south Africa even though there are still quite major crime problems in our country due to lack of legitimacy with the police services.

According to Rauch et al (2002: p33), one of the most cause and challenge faced by Police Service to co-operate in Community Policing are the disorganized/ informal settlements. It is difficult to operate in an area with insufficient resources’, for instance in place without local police station, poor police mapping system perhaps to acquire statics about hotspots for crime each location. Nevertheless, polices cannot function effectively, prominent local leaders and informants feel unsafe at confiding and co-operating due to fear they have lives from notorious gang leaders. Secondly, unreliable and unprofessionalism to work according to stated principles causes conflict and delays for results. The current structure of the policing does not prevent crime effectively, crime is on the increase and the high levels of crime are gripping communities. Certain communities are unable to contribute in deciding how crime is combated in their neighbourhoods. Because they are not safe and do not trust police officers, most of them are engaged in corruption. Officers in the community of Lamontville are friends with criminals.

Most of the criminals that commit serious crimes such as car high jacking, house robberies and drug lords are not convicted because they pay fines to the police officers. This creates a feeling of helplessness. Crime manifest itself in divers’ ways within communities. Different tactics and methods are necessary to prevent crime as predisposing factors are different in each neighbourhood. The South African police service has a task of policing a country with one of the highest crime rates and sector policing can be viewed as just another tactic to address crime trend and improve community policing. South Africa. However, police forums sub-forums and broads are not necessary the only means to address problems. Other structures may also be established and used to address certain problems such structures should include all relevant stakeholders, community needs may also be determined by means of surveys, interviews, workshops, community profiles and other measures. For an effective community-based police programs, the police and community members should be equal so they could work together. This means they must both benefit from the credible work they produce to reduce crime trends.

The police service has been able to maintain public order and enforce the criminal law. It has also gain the accountability of the communities they serve but failed to partner with the community to reduce crime trends. Because there are few community members involved in community policing programs. There is a lack of effective problem-solving between the community and the police officers, as the police respond later after the incident has long been done and covered up. Community policing needs to be legitimate for its effectiveness to be efficient and that is only possible if the community policing forums could stick to their principles and not allow corruption to intervene the operations. Community needs to be involved in an unlimited range and every individual must be committed to and live the concept of community policing.


Anthony Minaar. 2009, ‘Community Policing Forum’, Acta Criminologica CRIMSA Conference Revision, Special Edition No. 1, vol 1 pp. 5-22.

Duxita Mistry. 1996, The State of Community Policing Forums (CPFS) and the Challenges, UNISA, Pretoria.

Eric Pelser. 2002, ‘What is Community Policing?’, Institute for Security Studies, occasional paper No. 52.

Ian Clegg, Robert Hunt and Jim Whetton. 2000, Policy Guidance on Support to Policing in Developing countries, CRIMSA, Johannesburg.

Janine Rauch, Bill Dixon. 2002, ‘Origins and Challenges of Community Policing in South Africa’, Sector Policing Review, vol. 1, no. 3, pp 15-43.


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