Community policing or the neighborhood policing assists the police to maintain more security than just making mere arrests. The method emphasizes more on crime prevention of the neighborhood and thus acts as an effective method of dealing with crime in any given community. Investing a lot of capital in the traditional methods of policing has proven incompetent in reducing crimes in the modern streets. The concept of policing in the contemporary world is a complex phenomenon and the idea that more police means less crime is highly disputable. The traditional policing methods gave many policemen a bad reputation as they were often used to rule and threaten the public. The general populace regarded them as enemies rather than allies who support them to maintain peace and stability in the community. It is only when the community members and the police can work together to maintain peace that the public can trust them (Ford, 2007).
Members of a particular community need to have very strong interpersonal bonds since sometimes they will need to meet and identify the problems affecting them and the solutions they would need to implement in order to regain security in their area. Communities have differing attitudes and means of reaching a consensus and these diverse attitudes may affect resolutions made. Not all people can represent themselves in community-oriented policing (COP), and the bond among the chosen members largely determines the degree to which they are able to participate in coming up with ideas that can assist to make the communities more secure.
Police will gain more trust to the public and in turn, the public will be able to give them more information regarding how criminal activities are undertaken in different sections of the community. If well implemented, community-oriented policing is the best method that can be used to maintain law and order because it allows members to have peace and permits police to enforce law and order. The approach seeks to find the root of most of the criminal activities which makes it more effective. Through observation of suspicious events and reporting them, the community residents can participate in maintaining their own security (Dempsey & Forst, 2005). Community policing reduces fear among the citizens because they are made to take an active role in airing their views concerning how security could be maintained in the community. On the contrary, citizens may fear retaliation if they report criminal activities in the community. A strong collaboration between the police agencies and the community must exist for the community policing to work. In a broader view, community-oriented policing is a broader concept than just enforcing law.
On the other hand, problem-oriented policing (POP) is reactive in nature and depends on the police department to use all the information and resources at their disposal to carry out analysis and target to deal with the challenges affecting the people in any given community. The security agencies usually respond to problems after they arise. The basic tenet of the problem-oriented policing is to decrease crime and regain or maintain social order as compared to the community-oriented policing which aims to prevent crimes from affecting the community members (Mazerolle, Darroch, & White, 2013). Police officers do not have much time to interact with the community. The SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment) model is usually used in problem-oriented policing. Although the community is used as a resource in problem-oriented policing, they only aim to get the problems that exist within the community as opposed to community-oriented policing which tries to incorporate the community fully in getting the existing challenges and solutions to the prevalent crimes (Mazerolle, Darroch, & White, 2013).
The police agencies in the problem-oriented policing may usually call for a meeting with the community members. The greatest challenge is that they tell the people what their challenges are instead of inquiring from the people what their challenges are. With POP, the victims of circumstances usually feel that the police disintegrate them in an attempt to get justice. Why? Since they feel that they are not sufficiently engaged in fighting crime in the society and therefore may not support the police in their endeavor to fight crime (Weisburd, Cody, Hinkle, & Eck, 2010).
Community-oriented policing involves the proactive measures that are aimed at addressing criminal related challenges before they occur. It aims to seek for long-term solutions to challenges related to crime. On the other hand, the problem-oriented policing involves a reactive strategy to dealing with crimes. POP deals with crime challenges as they arise. It seeks for a short-term solution to criminal activities using methods such as arrests. Community-oriented policing forces both the community and the police to interact as equals and assist one another to solve the existing and potential crimes in the community. In problem-oriented policing, police officers normally take the centre stage and identify the criminal challenges in the society by themselves.
Police officers may not be in the community all the time and therefore may not be aware of the crimes going on. Since the community members will be more concerned with their security and that of their neighborhoods, they are likely to be the better agents who can assist the police in wiping out criminal elements. They are likely to give the police departments the right information that they require to fight crimes (Weisburd, Cody, Hinkle, & Eck, 2010). For example, in community where people complain much about the sale of drug, people can assist the police to identify the isolated buildings that criminals usually use to sell these harmful substances. After they are informed, then they can be able to take the necessary steps to make the actual arrests rather than arresting irrelevant people who might be innocent. In this way, the community-oriented policing technique becomes the most important method of dealing with insecurity challenges in such kind of a community.
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