MONA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT
RESEARCH DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY - NS69B Dr. Noel M. Cowell
Challenges to Implementing Community Policing In Jamaica
Bojang Yankuba Aziz
Student Number: 620037289
2013, January 2013
CHALLENGES OF IMPLEMENTING COMMUNITY POLICING IN JAMAICA
Community policing entails community partnership in creating a safe and secure environment for all, it is a model of policing whereby the people take active part in finding solutions to the problems of crime and safety in collaboration with the police. With this type of policing, the police is not seen as a stranger whose presence stands for danger and imminent hazard but as partners in development. The unfriendly nature of the relationship between the police and members of the public has enjoyed a wide coverage among scholars, and it can be said that community policing concept was introduced in reaction to this development. Needless to say then, that the problem of police-community relations is not one that will be addressed by political declarations but through sincere efforts of all stakeholders in the business of securing a safe environment for all (Ikuteyijo, 2009). The idea of policing imposed on the former British colonies by the colonial masters was calculated to foster an antagonism between the ordinary citizens and the police, Rotimi 2001 explains the reasons for the police-citizens feuds in the colonial times and notes that since the police stood as the symbol of authority, which were responsible for the enforcement of most government policies like the collection of taxes and enforcement of traffic regulations, they were usually at loggerheads with members of the public. This was the case for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) during the colonial era, Harriott 2000 described the duties of the JCF as, keeping watch by day and night, preservation of peace, detection of crime, apprehending or summoning of persons found committing any offence before a Justice of the Peace and seizing of good. Elsewhere, Harriott argue that law was viewed as a tool for controlling the “dangerous classes”, and despite the changes since independence; these are the lens through which the present laws and law enforcement are still viewed by many Harriott (2009). What is interesting to note however, is that both the community and the police keep blaming each other for this antagonistic relationship, the police blame the citizens for non-cooperation with them and for giving support to criminals and the citizens blame the police for their heavy-handed tactics and corrupt practices. Harriott acknowledged that there is some truth in all of these claims, but argued that these truths should not be used to deflect responsibility, he stressed that ownership of the crime problem is the first step that any political administration, state institution and citizen must take toward finding solutions to the problem. Despite the several reform efforts undertaken by the JCF to transform police behaviour and improve their service delivery, relationships between the JCF and citizens continue to be characterized by suspicion, prejudice, mutual disrespect, conflict and violence. It has equally been noted that it will be very difficult for any police organization to succeed in its objective of maintenance of law and order without the cooperation of the people being policed. To solve this dilemma, therefore, there must be not only a cordial relationship between the police and the citizens, but also be a working partnership between them if the laudable goals are to be achieved. For instance, Dickson (2007) has noted some impediments to the successful implementation of community policing to include internal resistance by policemen who benefited from the traditional policing and who prefer to maintain the status quo; lack of...