Community Police

The ability of the police to perform their duties effectively and efficiently not only strengthens democracy but also reassures the quality of life essential for any citizen. . The basic mission of police is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by force and punishment. The ear of modern policing starts with Peel's principle of policing that believes in the community dimension as "the police are the public and the public are the police". There are different models and theories on policing to prevent crime and disorder to help in crime investigation and law enforcement such as traditional policing, zero tolerance, broken window, problem oriented policing, COMPSTAT policing, hot spots policing and community policing. 
Policing authors duo Robert Trojanowicz and Bonnie Bucqueroux (1998) define community policing as "community policing is a new philosophy and an organizational strategy that promote a new partnership between people and their police. It is based on the premise that both the police and community must work together to identify, prioritize, and solve contemporary problems such as crime, drugs, fear of crime, social and physical disorder, and overall neighborhood decay, with the goal of improving the overall quality of life in the area." 
Nepal Police, as a main instrument of government, has been tasked with preventing and detecting crime and maintaining law and order to make a free society possible (Police Act, 1955). The prime duties and responsibilities are to prevent and detect crime and maintain law and order. The history of policing in Nepal is very old, however the formal history begins with the Police Act, 1955. In terms of police-community relation, we can see a typical example in Nepal. Community support to police in terms of money, land, material, and information, etc. are very old in Nepal. Nepal Police started a new initiative called "Police in Community Service" in Kathmandu on 30 November 1982 and subsequently in Bhaktapur and Lalitpur on 29 December 1982 with the objectives of improving police-community relation, bridging the gap between police and public, improving image of police, providing community service, among others. The first initiative was "Door-to-door" program. Here, the police officers we tasked with patrolling their areas—house to house and respond to public grievances and take notes all sorts  of problems. But, owing to the political changes and lack of resources and clarity of policy, door-to-door program was discontinued. After the restoration of multi-party democratic system, Nepal police jointly with community and the NGO (non-government organization)  started new community policing initiative through establishing Community Policing Service Center on 14 April 1994 as a pilot project with the objectives of increasing mutual relationship, partnership, maintaining peace and security, prevent social disorder and decays, increase awareness of drug abuse, domestic violence, etc. Likewise, similar types of Community Policing Centers (CPCs) were established in the following years. As of now, there are 96 community police sections ranging from Police Headquarters to District Police Office to facilitate the CPCs and 178 community service centers with the community police actively working to fulfill the objectives of community policing in Nepal.

Objectives of Community Policing:

  • Bridge the gap between the police and the public and develop the partnership,
  • Create peaceful society through partnership programs,
  • Create better quality of life through creativity at the local level,
  • Involve in  development work at the local level using locally available  resources,
  • Work in favor of elderly people, women, children, and backward people,
  • Conduct programs to empower the people against crime and criminal activities,
  • Conduct programs to motivate the women, children and youth to engage in creative activities,  
  • Create a congenial  relationship between the police and the public and promote the feeling of "all police are citizens with uniform and all citizens are police without uniform",
  • Adopt a proactive approach to mitigate possible incidents and threats ,
  • Prevent crime, help in crime investigation, uphold rule of law, identify problems of crime, fear of crime, social disorder, neighborhood decays, and delinquencies and thereby solving them in timely manner with the support of community mobilizing locally available resources.

Current Activities
1. Crime Prevention:

  • Collection of information and documentation,
  • Secure crime scene and provide security in emergency,
  • Patrol and watch in vulnerable places where crime is most likely,
  • Support legal aid to victims,
  • Solve local problem and maintain social harmony,
  • Prevention of drug abuse, domestic and gender-based violence and social crime.

2. Awareness:

  • Awareness programs by visiting schools concerning road and traffic rule, environment, domestic violence, human trafficking, and social crimes,
  • Interaction between police and community,
  • Door-to-door program (awareness program for public safety).

3. Social:

  • Accident and disaster management,
  • Volunteer mobilization, visit and interaction with elderly people.

4. Public health and environment:

  • Public health and sanitation program,
  • Blood donation and health camp programs.

5. Miscellaneous:

  • Religious/cultural programs, sports activities and consultations ,
  • Other programs as and when decided by working committee of community service center.

Achievements:

  • Enhancement  of partnership with community and bridging gap between the police and the community,
  • Better security coordination such as mobilization of  volunteers and emergency services during religious ceremonies and festivals,
  • Conduction of awareness programs such as school visit, domestic violence, traffic education, drug control, door-to-door program, record maintenance of local families,
  • Confidence building in the community and earning   civil society’s trust,
  • Mediation on social disputes,
  • Maintain the image of community police in the community etc.

Future Plan:

  1. Provide continuity to current activities,
  2. Outsource experts for  impact study and research analysis,
  3. Organize a central level seminar for improving community policing concept,
  4. Exposure visit for field study,
  5. Prepare policy paper on community policing, conduct orientation program in regional level to expedite the policy of community policing,
  6. Conduct Peace Angel program in regional level by community police section of regional police office,
  7. Provide basic  resources and funds to the community policing service center by district police office,
  8. Prepare name list of house owners and tenants thereby creating database in central level,
  9. Prepare a program for rehabilitation of street children with the consultation and coordination with concerned stakeholders.
  10. Create a police home page for citizens' access to police,
  11. Conduct public-police partnership program for proactive policing.

Organizational structure of community policing: