Police work together in addressing and solving issues on crime and violation of law in the community actually referred as community partnership. Community partnership is an important tool in community policing. Community partnership with the police involves collaborations of community individuals with the law governing agencies working hand in hand in order to identify the main problems facing a community and also strategize on finding a viable solution to the problem. When police is alone, it cannot know the main and root causes of certain problems in a community hence it has to interact with people in the community in order to be able to get information on criminal practices which might be happening in the community. It also applies when police are doing their investigations on a certain criminal they must rely on the community individuals for information access. As a result the individuals in the community stand out as strong contributors and shareholders in making sure that criminal actions are abolished and incase of any, it is tracked easily and the right action taken on it. Community partnership with the police also plays an important role in strengthening and improving public trust (Cordner & Gary pg 170).
Foundation of community policing partnerships
Community policing networks and partnerships has been growing slowly since 1960s when civil rights movement uncovered the weaknesses of the old model of policing which was operating in the moment. Police community partnership and networking came forth political convolutions which accompanied civil rights movement as early as 1960s. Increased objections against discrimination of people according to their race alerted government about the situation of tension. Then government became anxious to know the sources of racial injustices and tension s concerning the police. This subjected police to extreme public criticism as public figure of authority and law enforcement. The investigations suggested that the police were harsh on the minorities and treated them with a lot of injustices which was not the case for the white citizens. Due to this case the political department became aware of changing society and in 1967 commission on law enforcement and ensuring of justice put it clear that police should be responsive in their dealings. The areas which were to be rectified were the relationships between the police and the minorities which was hostile. Community police relationships were started in early 1970s where the police approaches were reconstructed to fit the newly introduced method of policing which was referred as community policing. The police operations were arranged and planned according to geographical or community bases in order to bring close relation with the citizens in the communities. Also the line officers were offered a great responsibility in making decisions which helped to be able to respond to problems faced by neighborhoods.
In1990s community policies had became strong and the police were serious in implementing its policy reforms receiving a great support from the office of community oriented services. They could hold annual conferences to sensitize people on the community policing. Societal organizations formed by the political department contributed to acceptance of the community policing in the community (Florenc et al pg 342).
Police partnership with the community have are very effective in achieving good personal safety. The extent of relationship determines the degree in which social order is maintained in the society. There are different levels in which it can be tested and evaluated and then graded according to its affectivity and positive influence to the society (Mitchell Natasha, & Julia Bryan pg 400).
Nature of policing
In a democratic society, it is very true that the police cannot work alone since they serve people and are supposed to be answerable to the people they serve. However there exist two different features of policing depicting the role of the police. Rude power of police which is only evident in times of violence in society as police exercise their duties can led them violating the rights and freedom of citizens regarded by the democratic society to be very important. The regulations governing police operation do not determine and moderate what police should do (Briggs & Rachel pg 980). This brings an argument that policing is an activity where you make your own wise choices and judgments which make most of police actions to be seen an unjust and threatening to citizens hence police must consider public interest in their acts.
Pros of community police partnership
The relationship between the police and the community is very important since it ensure effective problem solving. It involves altering the norms of how police work in order to achieve their goals. When there are good relations between police and the community, everybody is responsible for maintaining justice. When a problem occur it easy to determine the source since the community offers the required information enabling the police to make vital decisions on how to deal with the problem.
Partnerships and relations between the police and the community help to strengthen the community. Police involve the community members in the act of making sure that they eliminate criminal offences. In the process the community problems are solved since the most suitable solutions are sought. The aim of police community networks and relationships are aimed at reducing and eliminating the rate of crime and disorder in the community. The police are able to access very important information from the community which enable them to investigate and find out hidden criminal behavior in the community and be able to root it out (Crawford, T. A. M., & Karen Evans).
Police-community relationships help reduces fear in the community. Police presence in the community increases sense of security in the neighborhood. People in the community build more trust in police activities and therefore they are able to know the activities done by police men in on daily basis hence becoming responsible for elimination of crime from the community. Furthermore improve relations between the community and the police improve the quality of life in the community since crime cases are minimized. Also the community is able to give it suggestions and be listened and even the right action be taken.
When community partners with police or law enforcement department, criminal offences are reduced and resources which could have been invested in law enforcement are investment in other activities in the community hence improving the living standards for the community.
Cons in police community relation and partnership
- Power struggle
- This occurs where all the citizens in the community have not centered their minds on promoting and working with the police to bring justice and curb criminal actions in the community rather they are engaged in police community relations with bad intentions and reasons. These individuals use this advantage to fulfill their personal demand and interest.
- Different ideas
- Some people have different view on police presence in the community. This occurs on rebellious people and also people who commit crimes since they don’t want to be suspected. This makes it unworkable for some of people.
- Deviance creation
- Police relations with the community create deviance among the members of the community where it eradicates the cases or crime. The community no longer sees the importance of police actions since there are no criminal actions. This notion is very bad since it cultivate criminal actions again. Also creates an environment where criminal cases are overlooked without action being taken.
Examples of partnerships
- Patrol police and Detective police
- Police involved patrol duties the in a neighborhood use wise skills which enable them to be effective in their duties. The police involved in patrolling base their relations with the people in the community who can inform them of any criminal offences and direct them the victims as soon as action has happened or when in action. Patrol officers with the agents they consult in the community help in pointing out the behaviors of parolees and other issues leading them to commit crimes. In doing so, the police can employ various strategies in order to reduce the cases of crime in the community. Example of team in this department is Redland police and correlation team in California. This relation involves the police officers visiting paroles in their homes and looking how they are doing.
- On the other hand detectives work hand to hand with the people in the community individuals in order to get information from victims. They also consult witnesses in order to get the information crime cases being investigated.
- Chiefs and executive officers
- Chiefs act as a link between the community and the higher level officers as they execute their duties in the community. Chiefs maintain and strengthen the relationships between the people in the community and police hence police are able to get enough information about criminal offences committed.
Crime and Disorder act (1998) and other developments
The act was put to action in 1998 and its main aim was to make strategies on how to ensure safety of the community (Millie et al pg 390). It called upon all the local authorities to partner with different agencies in order to achieve its objectives. It main objectives were:
- Stop youth from being involved in criminal cases.
- Eliminate unfriendly behavior in the community and make people to be responsible for crime and disorder.
- Deal with crimes encouraged by racial life in the community.
- Providing transparency in sentencing.
- Care people from mistreatments such as sex, violence and drug addicts.
This act was aimed at bringing the community in a close relation with the police in order to effectively achieve the goal they had prioritized foe the community. The police major to partner with the community individuals because the service is directed to citizens (Crawford & Adam pg 41). According to the scope of this act, it contained orders which were to be followed by authorities involved in the duties delegated.
In 2002 a reformation was done on police act which had been made in 1988. The act was formally based on disallowance of driving off-road. However it was reformed in the police reform act of 2002 where it was based on the welfare of the community. The police were to take action vehicles used in anti-social way (Sanders et al). A vehicle distressing, annoying and alarming the public was said to be used in anti-social manner. Before the action could be taken a warning was to be given.
Another act was done in 2007 to improve on identification of national background of criminals using special check systems. The act was amended in 2008 as and was referred as NICS act of 2007. Te act actions were that individuals were forbidden from buying firearms; have a close check of funds obtained from fines and whether do the work in which they allocated to accomplish and before taking an action to a criminal then he was to be determined on mental defectively (Maguire & Mike pg 210).
National criminal history improvement program was enacted in 2016 to improve the level of strategies of fighting to crimes and ensuring justice to criminals and also improving the accessibility of criminal information and records as well improving check supporting systems. It also aimed strengthening national record systems and use them in for criminal background investigation (Terrill & Richard J).
Police partnership with different agencies is important since it bases its services on the community and leads to maximum protection of individual as well as fair execution of justice. The partnerships are also good since they root out crime from the society.
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- Mitchell, Natasha, and Julia Bryan. “School-family-community partnerships: Strategies for school counselors working with Caribbean immigrant families.” Professional School Counseling 10.4 (2007): 399-409.
- Briggs, Rachel. “Community engagement for counterterrorism: lessons from the United Kingdom.” International Affairs (2010): 971-981.
- Crawford, T. A. M., and Karen Evans. “Crime prevention and community safety.” (2016).
- Millie, Andrew. “Anti-social behaviour, behavioural expectations and an urban aesthetic.” British journal of criminology 48.3 (2008): 379-394.
- Crawford, Adam. “Governing Through Anti-social Behaviour Regulatory Challenges to Criminal Justice.” British Journal of Criminology (2009): azp041.
- Sanders, Andrew, Richard Young, and Mandy Burton. Criminal justice. Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Maguire, Mike. “Criminal statistics and the construction of crime.” The Oxford handbook of criminology 5 (2012): 206-244.
- Terrill, Richard J. World criminal justice systems: A comparative survey. Routledge, 2012.