Policing the Community or Community Policing: Implication for Community Development in Nigeria

Jude C. Okafor, Ernest Toochi Aniche


Community policing is fast becoming a global trend, especially in the 21st century. But community policing is neither foreign nor new to Africa, because long before European colonialism in Africa, the traditional African political societies had been policing and securing themselves. The European colonialism supplanted African model of community policing with colonial police who alienated the people. This alienation continued in post-colonial Nigeria deepening the distrust or mistrust between the people and the police. Rather than community policing, the Nigerian police has been busy policing the community thereby alienating the people more. This lack of cooperation from the people has a serious consequence, which is the inability of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to combat crime and tackle various security challenges in Nigeria leading to the proliferation of vigilante security architecture particularly in the form of vigilante militia groups. But this proliferation has only exacerbated security challenges in Nigeria owing to the distrust between them and the police. So far, community policing as implemented in Nigeria has not ensured security and safety in Nigeria not to talk of facilitating community development. Thus, insecurity, crimes and disorder have hindered development in the communities. The paper concluded that so long as the Nigerian Police engages in policing the community instead of partnering with the community in matters of security, safety and development in the communities will continue to elude Nigeria. This study is essentially qualitative, descriptive, and prescriptive.

Keywords: Community policing, community development, rural development, security, Nigeria

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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