Empirical Assessment of Community Based Policing on Crime Reduction in Kenya: A Case of Ngong SubCounty, 2003-2013
Amiller OR1, Akali NM*2, Simiyu V1 and Amatsimbi MH1
1Department of History and Archeology Department, the University of Nairobi, Kenya
2Department of Disaster Preparedness and Engineering Management, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya
Submission: January 03, 2018; Published: January 24, 2018
*Corresponding author: Akali NM, Department of Disaster Preparedness and Engineering Management, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya, Email: email@example.com
How to cite this article: Amiller O R, Akali N M, Simiyu V, Amatsimbi M H. Empirical Assessment of Community Based Policing on Crime Reduction in
Kenya: A 007 Case of Ngong Sub-County, 2003-2013. JOJ Material Sci. 2018; 3(5): 555625. DOI: 10.19080/JOJMS.2018.03.555625
Community Based Policing (CBP) is a special arrangement between the police and the members of the public upon which localized and participatory community-based collaborative action is used. It aims to better securing neighborhoods and enhancing the general wellbeing of the country. It was formally adopted and introduced in Kenya in April 2005. Existing literature provides broad information on the influence of CBP on reducing crime and insecurity worldwide. However, there is little evidence of empirical research that has been conducted in Kenya with specific focus on Ngon'g Sub-county. It is on this basis that this paper sort to determine the influence of community based policing on crime reduction in Kenya, a case of Ngon'g sub-County. Simple random sampling and purposive sampling were used to collect primary data. Representative sample of 180 respondents from five main locations in Ngon'g sub-county was drawn. The sample was composed of some residents of the area, some members of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and some members of security agencies. Using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) during analysis, the study employed descriptive and inferential statistics. The study revealed that crime reporting and sharing security information with the police were highly rated by the respondents since the introduction of CBP in 2003. Therefore, CBP is a vital instrument in reducing levels of insecurity and crime in Ngon'g Sub County from 2003 to 2013.For effective functioning of the CBP programs in Ngon'g Sub County, the police and members of the public must cooperate in attempt to create more secure society as well as creating a conductive environment.
Keywords: Community based policing; Crime; Ngon'g sub-county; Insecurity; Security agencies
Abbreviations: CBP: Community Based Policing; NGOs: Non-Governmental Organizations; SPSS: Statistical Package for Social Sciences
Fleming and O'Reilly , contend that, globally, security environment is undergoing dynamics with unique challenges. Therefore, there is need to device new approaches to policing. Derivative practices worldwide show that Community Based Policing (CBP) programs have enhanced interaction of police and community members. This has led to reduced incidences of insecurity, crime and other related social disorders. As opined by Lentz and Chaires , community based policing (CBP) dates back to 1829, propounded by Peel. Fundamentally, Peel argument was that, policing is that police are the people and the people are the police. Peel further argued that crime prevention could not be achieved without involving the citizenry. This is the concept around which many law enforcement agencies operate in the fight against crime, world over. According to Sherman and Eck , in the context of United States (US), CBP arose from the crisis of legitimacy after the urban race riots of the 1960s. In the United Kingdom (UK) the desire to have a different community model of policing was conceptualized and embraced in the 1970s (Anderson & Tresidder ). Efficient provision of security and enforcement ofthe law by police service and other related security agencies are essential ingredients in maintaining peace in Kenya. There are however a high number of cases of deterioration of security in the country for the last two decades. Among other things, this has made the institution of police to somehow unable to sufficiently guarantee security to the public and their property (Sarre ). Inadequate resources, widespread incompetence among law enforcers and other personnel within the criminal justice system and systemic corruption in the police service have been cited as some of the main factors that contribute towards increase in insecurity incidences in the country.
Arguing alongside Reisig's, Koch, B and T. Bennett also see community policing from a perspective upon which police work together with members of the public for the purpose of determining operational policy and if possible solving local problems (Bertus ). This was also a point that was emphasized and pointed out in the 2015 Kenyan policy paper; 4th Guidelines for Implementation of Community Policing-Nyumba Kumi Usalamawa Msingi that, "The main goal of Community Policing are: elimination of the fear of crime and social disorder, through joint problem solving; and, prevention of crime(Bertus ).
Community-based policing (CBP) in Kenya was embraced in 2005 as a crime prevention strategy. The strategy provides a framework that allows community members to participate in securing themselves, their properties and national interests. It entrenches community participation by empowering the citizens in national security issues. However, since the inception of CBP in Kenya, crime levels have still been on the rise. Parts of the country have recently been hit by a wave of violence, with insecurity accounts ranging from organized terror gangs, to violent robbery, abductions, poaching, cattle rustling, terrorism and murders. Ngong Sub-County has also been faced with the challenge of rise in crime levels. A critical look at the existing literature on the CBP program and its nexus with reduction of incidences of insecurity, it is shown that the studies are far from conclusive on the role the program plays in reducing insecurity in various places in Kenya. It is within this context that this study sort to assess the impact of CBP program in insecurity reduction in Ngong sub-county from 2003 to 2013.
The study adopted a descriptive survey research design to establish the influence of community based policing on crime reduction in Ngon'g sub-county. According to Mugenda and Mugenda (2003), descriptive study seeks to obtain information that describes existing phenomenon by asking individuals about perception, values, attitudes and behaviour. The target population comprised of households benefiting from community based policing services in Ngon'g sub-county.
Collected data was cleaned through identification of incomplete and in accurate responses that were corrected to improve its quality. The data was then coded and entered in the computer for analysis using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The analysis generated measures of central tendency, percentages and frequencies that were presented by use of pie chart and frequency tables.
The study sought to examine the influence of Community Based Policing (CBP) on crime reduction in Ngon'g sub-county from 2003 to 2013. From the analysis, it was noted that 81% of the respondents were young people while only 19% were over 36 years old, see Table 1. Regarding residency, respondents were drawn from Oloolua town (48.99%), Kiserian and Nkaimoronya at 24.4 and 23.3%, respectively OngataRongai town had the least (3.3%) representation in the survey. Table 2 shows that 26.7 % of the responded confirmed that they first heard about Community Based Policing (CBP) program between 2009 and 2010 while 22.8 and 22.2 % of the respondents heard about the program between 2007-2008 and 2005-2006 while only 7.2% of the respondents confirmed that they heard about the initiatives of the program in 2013.
These trends indicate that the National Police Service (NPS) may have been more focused on the program in 2005 to 2010 while less focus was paid towards in 2013. It can be argued towards this end that there are some years when initiatives from the program were not as robust as the others were.
About 73.3 % of the respondents admitted that there was significant impact of CBP on reduction of incidences of crime and insecurity within Ngong Sub County between 2003 and 2013. On the other hand, 26.7% reported that there was no significant impact, see Table 3. It is thus valid to contend that there was a connection between CBP program and reduction of incidences of insecurity in Ngong Sub County. CBP program was also noted to have had a positive (52.2%) contribution to the level of crime reporting within Ngong Sub County from 2003 to 2013. Nonetheless, 47.8% of the respondents felt that the program had not positively contributed to crime reporting within the area. Concerning the number of years as a residence in Ngong Sub County, most of the respondents (40%) had lived in the area of study for a period of more than four years while only 11% had lived in for period of one year before the questionnaires were administered. Additionally, 42% of the respondents had lived in the area for 2 to 3 years before the questionnaires were administered. From the data, it can be deduced that 53% of the respondents in the study were new residents in Ngong
Town. This phenomenon could be attributed to the fact that as Nairobi experiences burgeoning population due to rural-urban migration, some individuals working in Nairobi migrated to Ngong Sub-county because it is not located far from the city.
Table 4 shows a set of factors that influence implementation of the CBP programs in Ngong Sub-county. It is seen that 46.7% of the respondents would prefer that the communication equipment of police officers be enhanced. This indicated that lack of communication equipment is among the key challenges that the police force was faced with during implementation of the CBP program within the area of study. On the other hand, 31.7% of the respondents stated that they preferred the presence of private security guards, 11.1% of the respondents stated that they appreciated the enhancement of police patrols while only 10.6% thought that the increased cooperation between the police and the civilians enhanced security in the area. This is a pointer to the fact that, some respondents did not appreciate the benefits of police patrols and collaboration with police officers on matters of security. Despite the fact that some respondents did not appreciate the benefits of police-civilian collaboration, 72.8% of the respondents were willing to volunteer information to the police in order to enhance implementation of the CBP program, see Table 5.
On the other hand, 27.2 % of the respondents were not willing to share security related information with the police. Nonetheless, from the information presented, it can be observed that a majority of the respondents were more than willing to share information with the police since implementation of the CBP program in the area. It can perhaps be deduced here that those people who were not willing to share information were probably afraid or ignorant of the benefits of the exchange of information between the police and members of the public.
Only 4.4% of the respondents believed that the relationship between the police and community members was "much better off,” 12.8% rated the relationship as "better off while 25% of the respondents believed that the status quo had been maintained and the relationship was just "about the same”, see Table 6. Such ratings of the police-public relationship posed a challenge to the police because CBP program was partly based on the relationship between police and members of the public. According to the respondents, the availability of CBP initiatives in Ngong SubCounty had contributed to a decrease in almost all major forms of crime rates in the area. About 74.4% of the respondents were in agreement with this fact while 25.6% disagreed. The most prevalent forms of crime in the area were rape and murder at 46.1 and 34.4%, respectively. Carjacking cases were at 6.1% while other crimes not specified were at 13.3%. The results indicated that CBP program had contributed to the decline in carjacking cases; nonetheless, rape and murder were still highly prevalent despite the introduction of the initiatives.
To establish the association between gender, place of residence and crime reporting, two-way ANOVA test was used. The results are depicted in Tables 7-12. It was observed that there was a significant association between gender and place of residence as illustrated by p = 0.038, F (1, 171) = 2.861, R2 = 0.103, see Table 7. Between the five towns selected for the study, it was observed that the highest crime reporting due to Community Based Policing initiatives was observed in Oloolua followed by Kiseria and Nkaimoronya, Ngong Town and finally OngataRongai. Figure 1 illustrates the mean plot of the association between increased crime reporting and gender. From the trends depicted in the figure, it can be observed that the number of female respondents who confirmed that there was an increase in crime reporting was constantly higher across all sampled towns except Nkaimoronya town. On the other hand, the male respondents reported an increase in crime reporting in the places where they lived with the exception of Nkaimoronya where men reported an increase in crime reporting in comparison to the women.
Besides, ANOVA was used to elucidate the crime prevalence in the selected towns in Ngong Sub-County. For instance, it was observed that the number of respondents who mentioned carjacking in Nkaimoronya, Oloolua, and Kiserian was 5, 3, and 3, respectively. This indicated that OngataRongai and Kiserian did not experience any form of carjacking. On the other hand, respondents in Ngong Town, Oloolua, Nkaimoronya, Kiserian, and OngataRongai reported 5, 20, 17, 17, and 3 murders respectively From this information, it can be observed that murder cases are the highest in Oloolua followed by Nkaimoronya and Kiserian. Ngong Town and OngataRongai have the least number of murders according to the information provided by respondents. Therefore, the Community Bases Policing initiative should strive to address this issue before it gets out of hand.
Respondents in Oloolua reported the highest number of rape cases at 34, followed by Ngong Town at 18, Kiserian, and Nkaimoronya at 15. From the murder and rape cases, it can be observed that in both cases the Oloolua was leading while Kiserian and Nkaimoronya had an identical number of criminal cases reported by the respondents. According to the significance value depicted in Table 11, it can be observed that there was a significant association between the type of crime and place of residence. Therefore, the town of residence significantly influenced the general perception that the respondents had towards Community Based Policing program based on the frequency of crime in their locality. The significance value p = 0.006, F (1, 17) = 2.6, R2 = 0.268.
In Ngong Sub County, the town with the highest decrease in crime due to implementation of Community Based Policing (CBP) program was Nkaimoronya followed by OngataRongai, Ngong Town, Kiserian and lastly Oloolua as depicted in Table 12. From these trends, it can be deduced that CBP initiatives were most productive in Nkaimoronya, OngataRongai, and Ngong Town. Oloolua, on the other hand, had the least decrease in crime and the highest rates of murder and rape as illustrated in Table 12 and (Figure 2).
The study underscored the need to bridge the glaring mistrust between members of the public and the police. This enhances mutual cooperation and creates more secure society. Introduction of Community based policing program was instrumental in reducing levels of insecurity and crime in Ngong Sub County from 2003 to 2013.
The study recommends full adoption of community based policing program throughout the country. This will provide a
broader forum upon which police and public will cooperate in
fight against insecurity in the society.