BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
All over the world, the importance and relevance of the police institution have been acknowledged. The acknowledgement is predicated on the need of community interest in terms of rights, duties and obligations which are different facts of the contractual nature of the human society (Smah, 2012; Zems, 2013). The police of the community are a beacon of hope and pride at any point in time. They owe the duty to protect the territorial integrity of the society and the nation, the community relies upon the police to “protect and serve”, and the police in return rely upon the community’s support and cooperation in order to be effective. When there are good police–community relations, police have a better understanding of the public’s concerns (especially those that are crime related), and citizens are more inclined to report crimes that occur to the police, provide tips/intelligence to law enforcement, willingly serve as witnesses, and are happy to participate in jury trials. By extension preventing crimes before they occur or minimize their impact, instead of simply react to calls for service. Good police–community relations prevent the possibility that the public thinks that police are simply a mechanism for intelligence collection.
Police-community relations refer to the ongoing and changing relationship between the police and the communities they serve. This includes issues of cooperation, race relations, and fear of police, violence, and corruption. In other words, no matter how well equipped the police department may be, its efficiency and effectiveness will largely remain a potential if it fails to establish a good relationship with its host community (Ross, 2015). Peel (2009) undertook the reorganization of the London police with the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829, he and the two key commissioners that he appointed, Charles and Richard emphasized that the police should work in cooperation with the people to protect the rights, serve the needs, and earn the trust of the members of the community. Writing at the turn of the century, Lee (2011) discussed Peel’s principles of law enforcement. According to Lee, police officers are “public servants in the fullest sense of the term” (Ross, 2015).
The concept of police-community relations has gained a secure level of acceptance in the law enforcement establishment and in urban government. Acceptance, in a working sense, means that proposals to establish and maintain such programs have a fair chance of success (Cox, 2016). The concept of Police-Community Relationships (PCRs) is very important to understanding of the role of the police in society and the ways in which communities can render assistance to the police in discharging these roles as effectively as possible. For example, in order for the police to carry out their crime control, peace/order maintenance, traffic control and emergency management functions effectively, it must work with residents of their host communities and see themselves as partners in the same community. If the community residents have cause to suspect the police or consider them as an army of occupation they will withdraw their cooperation and unrest will reign in such a community. Therefore, “Police-community relationship must be two-way partnerships” because “in a democratic society, the legitimacy of the police depends on broad and active public acceptance and support” (Dempsey and Forst 2008).
The concept of police-community relations has gained a secure level of acceptance in the law enforcement establishment and in urban government. Acceptance, in a working sense, means that proposals to establish and maintain such programs have a fair chance of success (Cox, 2016).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is no doubt that the effectiveness and efficiency of the Nigeria police have been under stress and adversely affected by various problems such as inappropriate policing orientation and strategies with emphasis on reactive instead of proactive/preventive measures, brutality against citizens, including extrajudicial killing, and poor performance in the areas of intelligence analysis and utilization as well as investigation. In many states in Nigeria, the capacity of the police to maintain law and order has continued to be undermined by rapidly growing incidence of violent crimes. Incidences of bank robbery and kidnapping have drastically increased in many parts of Nigeria.
Another factor that diminishes police community relations is the issue of corruption. Police routinely extort money from victims of crimes to initiate investigations and demand bribes from suspects to drop investigations. Corruption in the police is so endemic that it has eroded public trust and confidence they have in the police. To achieve any success in combating corruption in the Nigerian police one has to take a holistic approach and most importantly understanding the growth and existence of corruption within the police (Alamika, 2000).
Police–community relations is a process where the entire police department (not a specialized unit) is engaged with the communities they serve in order to make it a safe and better place to live (Radalet and Carter, 2002).It is commonly accepted that the poor areas of our cities produce a disproportionately large number of people who are arrested for criminal activities and that people living in these ghettos are exposed to a far greater risk of being criminally victimized than are other citizens. It is no secret that people living in these areas distrust the police and often are reluctant to help police officers in their efforts to control crime. Also the present relationship between the police and the community members is largely without mutual benefit. In Nigeria there is no good relationship between the police and the host community in order to aid the police in discharging their duties (Ross, 2005).
The research is aimed at finding out the cordial relationship between the police and the community members in their respective role in combating crime in Somolu Local Government. Because for long, there have been problems concerning the issues of preventing crime as the public failed to collaborate with the police to tackle the menace of crime occurring in Somolu Local Government. In view of the above, the study is set to examine the relationship between the police and the members of the community in combating crime in the study area.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research is to examine the role of police-community relations in combating crime in Somolu Local Government, Lagos State. The specific objectives are as follows:
To examine the relationship between intelligence policing and combating crime in Somolu Local Government, Lagos State.
To assess the relationship between effective policing and combating crime in Somolu Local Government, Lagos State.
To examine the collaborative strategies in combating crime in Somolu Local Government, Lagos State.
To provide suggestions on how to improve the police-community relations in combating crime.
1. What is the role of police-community relations in intelligence gathering in combating crime in Somolu Local Government, Lagos State.
2. What is the relationship between effective policing in combating crime in Somolu Local Government, Lagos State.
3. What are the collaborative strategies employed for police-community relations in combating crime?
4. What measures could be used to enhance police-community relations in combating crime?
1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would be a crucial source of information to policy makers, stakeholder and the government on issues relating to community policing most especially in Nigeria. This study also stands to generate information on what kind of motivation that needs to be applied to drive the performance of police in the community.
1.6. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will be limited to understanding the roles of community relations in combating crimes in Ikeja Local government area of Lagos State. The study will examine several important roles like gathering information, strategic policing and the use of collaborative strategies to drive how crimes are reduced and prevented in our communities.
1.8. CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION
The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state to enforce the law, to protect people and property, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their powers include the power of arrest and the legitimized use of force. The term is most commonly associated with police services of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility.
A community is a small or large social unit (a group of living things) that has something in common, such as norms, religion, values, or identity. Communities often share a sense of place that is situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a country, village, town, or neighbourhood) or in virtual space through communication platforms. Durable relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties also define a sense of community. People tend to define those social ties as important to their identity, practice, and roles in social institutions (such as family, home, work, government, society, or humanity at-large). Although communities are usually small relative to personal social ties (micro-level), "community" may also refer to large group affiliations (or macro-level), such as national communities, international communities, and virtual communities
- COMMUNITY RELATIONS:
This is the interaction with the people constituting the environment it operates in and draws resources from, to foster mutual understanding, trust, and support. - CRIME:
A crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term "crime" does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes The most popular view is that crime is a category created by law; in other words, something is a crime if declared as such by the relevant and applicable law. One proposed definition is that a crime or offence (or criminal offence) is an act harmful not only to some individual but also to a community, society or the state ("a public wrong"). Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.
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Sodiq, K (2019). THE ROLE OF POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS IN COMBATING CRIME IN IKEJA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA. Afribary.com: Retrieved March 26, 2019, from https://afribary.com/works/the-role-of-police-community-relations-in-combating-crime-in-ikeja-local-government-area-of-lagos-state-nigeria
Kolawole, Sodiq. "THE ROLE OF POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS IN COMBATING CRIME IN IKEJA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 03 Mar. 2019, https://afribary.com/works/the-role-of-police-community-relations-in-combating-crime-in-ikeja-local-government-area-of-lagos-state-nigeria . Accessed 26 Mar. 2019.
Kolawole, Sodiq. "THE ROLE OF POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS IN COMBATING CRIME IN IKEJA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 03 Mar. 2019. Web. 26 Mar. 2019. < https://afribary.com/works/the-role-of-police-community-relations-in-combating-crime-in-ikeja-local-government-area-of-lagos-state-nigeria >.
Kolawole, Sodiq. "THE ROLE OF POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS IN COMBATING CRIME IN IKEJA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA" Afribary.com (2019). Accessed March 26, 2019. https://afribary.com/works/the-role-of-police-community-relations-in-combating-crime-in-ikeja-local-government-area-of-lagos-state-nigeria