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Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE COMMISSIONERS PRESENTATION ON COMMUNITY POLICING IN ZIMBABWE at.

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Presentation on theme: "Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE COMMISSIONERS PRESENTATION ON COMMUNITY POLICING IN ZIMBABWE at."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE COMMISSIONERS PRESENTATION ON COMMUNITY POLICING IN ZIMBABWE at the 10 th AGM of International Police Executive Symposium in Bahrain October 2003

2 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 2 This paper is a summation of the nature of Police - Citizen relations in Zimbabwe which constitute a vital component of modern policing in the new millennium. The relationship between the police and the public in the country can be perceived from community policing practice in Zimbabwe.

3 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 3 Community Policing Over the past two decades, Community policing has emerged as a philosophy and a practice in which the police and the public forge a partnership in the fight against crime. (Trojanowicz (1994)) defines it as a philosophy and organisational strategy that promotes a new partnership between the people and the police.

4 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 4 Community Policing Peak(1997) points out that policing emerged as the dominant direction of thinking in crime prevention, which unifies the police and the community. He indicates that it is a philosophy and not a specific tactic. It is a proactive, decentralised approach designed to reduce crime, by involving officers in the community on a long term basis.

5 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 5 Community Policing His definition is based on the premise that the police and the community must work together as equal partners to identify, prioritise and solve contemporary problems such as crime, drug abuse, fear of crime, social disorder and overall neighbourhood decay, with the goal of improving the overall quality of life in the area.

6 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 6 Community Policing On 13 March 1985, the then Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde R.G. Mugabe pronounced a new policy on community policing. He stated that,

7 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 7 Community Policing “ we must underscore the point that effective policing must derive from and flourish on the good will and co-operation with the whole community from whom any Police force derives its legitimacy. The Police must strive to educate the masses so that they identify the objectives and functions of the police as their own, in turn, they must feel that the people’s needs and aspirations are also their own’’

8 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 8 Community Policing This has set the milestone in the community policing of the country in the early years of independence. The context of community relations in Zimbabwe is therefore viewed from the convectional practice of community policing.

9 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 9 The country is characterised with harmonisation of racial relations despite contrary media reports meant to tarnish the recently concluded land reforms.

10 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 10 Mandate of the Zimbabwe Republic Police The mandate of the police force is spelt out in section 93(1) of the constitution. The police is charged with:-  preserving peace,  preventing crime,  protecting property from malicious injury,  detecting crime, and  apprehending offenders and suppressing all forms of civil commotion or disturbance that may occur in any part of Zimbabwe.

11 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 11 Police Government Relations Independence of the Police The police force has a reasonable degree of independence in its relations with government. The nature of this relationship does not impede the police force in any way in its efforts to arrest the criminal element for prosecution. The police falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Commissioner reports to the minister.

12 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 12 The Minister reports to the President. The office of the Commissioner of Police is a professional post and the selection of candidates aspiring to occupy it involves all senior officers with relevant credentials, including experience.

13 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 13 The appointment of the Police Commissioner is undertaken by the President through a process of consultation with the Police Service Commission.

14 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 14 Public Confidence in the Police In the 1998, Public opinion survey 57% indicated that they were confident about the work of the police in the country. In another survey carried out in the capital city in 2002, 65% indicated that they were confident in the services rendered by the police to the public.

15 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 15 The thrust of community policing in Zimbabwe involves the following: - Co-operative action for prevention and management of crime. United support in reducing fear of crime. Creation of trust or its re-enforcement between the police and the community. Establishing better direction and use of resources in the police force. Achieving law enforcement objectives mainly by prevention and pro-activity rather than reaction.

16 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 16 Community Policing Initiatives The various community policing initiatives that evolved in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 are as follows: -

17 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 17 Station Community Relations Liaison Officers These officers fall under the control of the District Community Relations Liaison Officer. They are found at all police stations throughout the country. The role of the Community Relations Liaison Officers at station level include the following:-

18 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 18 Station Community Relations Liaison Officers Attending crime consultative meetings. Carrying out crime awareness campaigns. Carrying out general awareness campaigns e.g. alerting school children about the dangers of lightning during the rainy season. Carrying out station crime analysis on a daily basis and advise on relevant deployments.

19 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 19 Station Community Relations Liaison Officers Recruitment of regular and neighbourhood watch committee members. Training of neighbourhood watch committee members. Counselling and providing advice on matters of domestic and social nature. Dealing with sexual offences involving disadvantaged groups especially women, children and the aged.

20 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 20 Station Community Relations Liaison Officers Publicize the use of hot lines and public suggestion boxes in policing areas and, Undertaking local public opinion surveys. In view of their functions, the community relations liaison officers are the bridge between the community and the police in their areas.

21 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 21 Neighbourhood Watch Committees These are committees formed by local people in a community, who are interested in working with the police in protecting their property. The Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act recognise citizen’s arrest and the harnessing of Neighbourhood Watch Committees in policing should be appreciated from this perspective.

22 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 22 Neighbourhood Watch Committees The members of these committees are offered short courses in police work at stations throughout the country and whenever they are deployed for patrols and other duties, a properly trained policeman would be in charge.

23 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 23 Their work is reflected in table 1 in the main document.

24 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 24 Crime Consultative Committees This entails the participation of prominent people in a process of crime consultation within structures called crime consultative committees. Their input is infused in policing strategies pursued by police in their localities. These people are businessmen, government officials, teachers, school heads and traditional leaders.

25 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 25 Table 2 indicates that 4530 members are involved in crime consultative committees throughout the country.

26 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 26 Home Officer Scheme This scheme reflects an effort to integrate a police officer in the community to which he/she provides police services. An officer is assigned to a small geographical unit of his policing area. He develops strategies to combat crime together with the local people. However, he/she still reports to his Officer-In-Charge at the station.

27 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 27 Suggestion Boxes and Hotlines In an endeavor to enhance community participation in policing and increase the flow of information from members of the public to police, the ZRP embarked on a massive programme in the mid 1990s of installing suggestion boxes at strategic public places and hotlines at police stations. These have been effective in providing information which led to good arrests. However, suggestion boxes tend to be vandalised by criminals.

28 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 28 Police Junior Call Programme The junior call programme is meant to breed a young generation of law- abiding citizens. The broad aims of the programme are as follows: -  Promote law-abiding conduct and deter criminal and self-destructive pursuits among youths.

29 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 29  To provide a nucleus of youths with sound basic knowledge of police work.  To propagate a disciplined child through moulding the youths to become good, responsible, conscientised and sympathetic citizens.  To act as a basis of providing useful information and training which would mould the youths as potential or future police officers.

30 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 30 Role of Police in Improving the Quality of Life The junior call programme also serves as a window to improve the quality of life in the communities. It promotes and enhances the image of the ZRP in the eyes of the public.

31 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 31 Role of Police in Improving the Quality of Life cont… The programme provides opportunities for teamwork and community involvement through sporting, cleaning and beautifying public places and helping the needy in society. The work done by members of the Junior Call Programme is reflected in Table 5 in the main document.

32 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 32 The whole programme discourages the youths from ruinous practices such as drug and alcohol abuse, juvenile delinquency, sexuality and other acts of indecency that usually visit their age group.

33 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 33 Commissioner’s Fun Fair Every year, the Commissioner of the Zimbabwe Republic Police holds a fundraising campaign through a fun fair. The money raised is distributed to the aged, children in difficulties and other charity organisations.

34 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 34 ZRP Boarding School The construction of the ZRP Boarding School also shows our commitment to the education of children not only of police officers but also of the local community as a whole for which a 20% quota has been reserved.

35 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 35 Complaints Handling Webster (1998) states that customer complaints are a valuable business asset contrary to widely held opinion. He argues that conventional wisdom tries to minimise complaints yet they can be the window for hearing the voice of a changing customer in the current competitive environment. In view of this, the ZRP has set complaints handling structures (desks) throughout the country.

36 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 36 Officers trained in customer care man these desks. They record the complaints in books and hand them over to their commanders for facilitation of investigations. The complaint handling procedure is as follows: -

37 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 37 a.An aggrieved person can launch his complaint with the officer-in-charge. b.If the issue is not well managed, complainant can see the Officer Commanding District.

38 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 38 c.If not pleased, he/she can approach the Officer Commanding Province. d.Finally, he/she can approach the Commissioner of Police if the provincial command fails to solve the problem. If a police officer has erred in his/her duties necessary disciplinary action is taken after full investigation has been launched.

39 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 39 The ZRP has set up an Internal Investigation section at Police General Headquarters that checks if cases of complaints are properly investigated. The following are some of the independent avenues the public can use in dealing with complaints against the police.

40 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 40 Court System – more often than not our people have resorted to courts to seek redress. The police pay compensation whenever the courts order them to do so. Office of the Ombudsman – it is an avenue of complaints management, not related to police in any way.

41 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 41 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Human Rights Groups – the country has witnessed the proliferation of NGOs and Human Rights Groups, whose role in assisting the public in complaints management has been significant.

42 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 42 Police Training Police Recruit Training  The police recruits at Depot are taught public relations and the nature of community policing programmes in the country.  They are also exposed to the value derived from the use of suggestion boxes and hotlines by the public which are important communication channels.  The recruits also undertake lessons in human rights critical in cementing police- public relations.

43 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 43 Police Training The Police Staff College  Though the college largely remains the institution for sharpening the managerial skills of senior officers, the inclusion of public relations and human rights in the broad spectrum of courses tends to enhance their knowledge on community policing.  Since these officers are in charge of police stations, districts and provincial headquarters, their influence in this area is far reaching.

44 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 44 Police Training NB  The police officers are also taught the need to use an Inter- Agency approach in which the ZRP works with other government departments and private organisations interested in combating crime.

45 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 45 Problems of Community Policing in Zimbabwe The success of community policing is undermined by a number of factors.  In some cases people may not have time to be involved in Police-related activities.  Withdrawal of participation or inactivity by some members of the public due to the mistaken belief that the ZRP would employ them or give them incentives.  Inadequate transport for Community Relations Liaison Officers at station, district and provincial levels.

46 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 46 Problems of Community Policing in Zimbabwe cont…  Some members of the public do not want to work without being paid as is the case in community policing programmes.

47 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 47 Conclusion cont… The ZRP will continue to encourage community participation in the management of crime in the new millennium and ensures that the country remains a safe investment destination.

48 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 48 Conclusion cont… In an epoch characterised by justice and fair play, the ZRP and the entire legal system will continue to observe the tenet that everyone is equal before the law.

49 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe 49 Conclusion cont… Human rights and community policing are to remain the core of police training as they form the mainstay of police- public interaction in our society. In this regard, our Service Charter and the National Service Plans will continue to be the guiding beacons in service delivery to the public.

50 Cde A. Chihuri Presentation on Community Policing in Zimbabwe The end


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