STAKEHOLDER’S PERCEPTIONS OF INFLUENCE OF COMMUNITY POLICING ON CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES IN LOW INCOME AREAS OF NAKURU TOWN, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Kenya has experienced a huge security lapse in the last one decade. This has been the case due to frequent rates of crime such as theft, armed robbery, burglary, housebreaking, battery, assault and terrorism among others. Many lives have been lost, property destroyed or stolen, many homes and houses broken into, many people displaced as a result of these crimes. Community policing was introduced in Kenya in 2003 to help in reducing such criminal activities. However, it is observed that criminal activities are still taking place in Kenya and also in Nakuru Town in particular. Thus, the aim of this research is therefore, to determine the stakeholder‟s perceptions of influence of community policing on criminal activities in low income areas of Nakuru Town. This study was guided by social disorganization theory. This study employed explanatory sequential mixed methods research design. This involved, using semi-structured questionnaires to collect quantitative data after which an interview guide and focus group discussion guide were used to collect qualitative data that helped explain in a detailed manner, the results obtained from the quantitative phase. The study population comprised the residents of 4 low income areas of Nakuru Town wards (Kaptembwo, Rhonda, Bondeni and Kivumbini) that had a total population of 252,762. From the total population, a sample of 156 respondents was obtained through purposive sampling for the survey and focus group discussion in each ward. Purposive sampling was also used to select four police officers who were the heads of police stations as well as 4 chiefs of the Nakuru Town wards for the interviews. Proportionate sampling was used to ensure representativeness and to determine the number of citizens needed from each ward. To ensure validity of the instruments, the research instruments were given to the supervisors to cross check and evaluate content validity. Piloting of questionnaires was done in Langa Langa ward in Nakuru Town. Cronbach‟s alpha was used to test reliability of the semi-structured questionnaires that were used in the study and a correlation coefficient of 0.805 was obtained thus was considered acceptable. Data entry was conducted using SPSS software. Quantitative data obtained were then analyzed using Pearson‟s correlation coefficient. Hypotheses were tested at 5% level of significance. Descriptive statistics such as mean and percentages were also used. Qualitative data obtained by focus group discussions were analyzed through thematic approach while data from the interviews were first coded then analyzed using Nvivo Software. The results obtained from Kaptembwo, Bondeni and Kivumbini gave statistically significant influence of community policing on criminal activities. There also appears to be no statistically significant influence of community policing on criminal activities in Rhonda. This implies that community policing is not working uniformly in the areas studied. The findings from this study inform the National and County government of Nakuru and Kenya at large, on the need to sensitize the public on the importance of enhancing police-community interaction as a good measure to reduce the rate of crimes in the community through community policing, conduct training and re-training of police to meet the demands of community policing as well as having a legal framework indicating the relationship between the police and the community.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Crime refers to a form of deviance that involves an infraction of the criminal law. A crime may also involve any offence that is against a public law, a term that in its most general sense entails all offences (Allen & Michael, 2005). Crimes are normally defined and punished by statutes such as Penal Code (PC) and common law. In fact, they are „mala in se’ or bad in themselves and „mala prohibita’ or bad because they are prohibited including all offences against the moral law. Crimes happen everywhere around the world. Examples of crime include; sodomy, adultery, incest, bigamy and fornication, public indecency, drunkenness, violating the grave, homicide, mayhem, rape and defilement, kidnappings, poisoning, assault and battery, false imprisonment, abduction, domestic violence cases, burglary, arson, Armed robbery, larceny, forgery, theft, housebreaking, break-ins, and drug/firearm trafficking and possession among others (Lafave & Edward, 2001).

There are many reasons as to why crimes are committed. Such reasons include but not limited to poverty, unemployment, poor policing, poor lighting, lack of education, drugs and substance abuse, poor parenting, school dropouts and lack of maintenance of social order among others. These effects are devastating to human beings. For example, crimes lead to loss of lives, body injuries, psychological trauma, fear, displacements, and destruction of property among others. It is because of the above reasons that security intervention strategies such as community policing was initiated to try and reduce these effects (McGoey, 2013).

Community policing is a security intervention strategy that emphasizes on the support of problem solving tactics involving partnerships between the police and the community so as to address the causes and reduce fear of crimes and social disorders. The history of community policing is traced back to have begun one and half a century ago in London during the London Metropolitan Police District formation. Community policing was adopted by Sir Robert Peel, who was the first chief of the new Metropolitan Police after the British Parliament formulated it with the hope that it would help in addressing the ever rising crime levels. These crimes were poverty, radical political groups, non-supervised juveniles, and alcoholism among others in and around the capital city through creating a new police force (Dennis, 2009). The police force was required to cooperate with the community through sharing of information, having vast knowledge of the neighborhoods as well as having informants within and among communities to help in reducing criminal activities that were hitting at an all-time high in London.

Community policing as a security intervention strategy was then adopted by England and United States in the late 18th Century and early 19th Century (Walker, 2001). The two countries came up with a new strategy of community policing known as team policing in the 1970s which recognized that prior to the introduction of community policing, social climate and techniques of police patrol made the police become isolated from the community making the fight against crime very difficult. Rosenberg et al (2008) further outline that team policing proceeded to assign a neighborhood to a group of police officers who were expected to learn about the neighborhood members, neighborhood itself and the problems experienced. This method was tried in several parts of the United States of America and was found to be successful in places such as California, in the early mid-1990s. Naude (2004) posits that the outcomes were that the relationship between the community and the police through working in cahoots did immensely resolve and prevent community crimes and social disorders.

In Africa, community policing has been noticed to be successful in places where interactions have been more informal according to Naude (2004). In Nigeria, people have deviated from formal to informal law in an attempt to curb the menace of crime such as forming informal ethnic militia groups to provide protection (Rotimi, 2001). Some communities such as the Igbo community of South Eastern Nigeria have put much emphasis on their traditional customs and values as well as other unwritten concepts of law to interpret what law is. For example, they believed that the behavior of citizens was supposed to be regulated by their indigenous people whom they were quite familiar with such as the elders (Okfar, 2006). Nigeria has also experienced reforms which were given by the Inspector General of Police and officially launched by the then president on April, 2004. In fact, the reforms were aimed at creating a partnership between the police and the community that would ensure secure and safe environment for all people. The method has since been found to be effective in curbing crime rates as the police were no longer viewed as strangers but rather as partners in development in Nigeria (Ikuteyijo, 2009).

In Kenya, community policing was introduced in 2003 and officially launched by the government in April 2005 mainly to give the public ownership of the problem solving processes which was to be achieved through the police and the community working together. Its main objectives were: to promote long term conditions for development and community safety; build the capacity of the local institutions and people in the co-ordination and implementation of community policing; strengthen the co-operation and the partnership between the police and the public; strengthen interaction between and amongst the government, institutions and civil societies having an interest in promoting peace, safety and democratic policing; improve trust between the police and the community and develop linkage between development and security. Community policing was also to entail police patrols, community-police meetings, neighborhood security meetings, community cooperation with the police reservists and community policing awareness campaigns according to the Republic of Kenya (2004). Though community policing has been very difficult to implement since its inception in 2003 and with the criminal activities such as terrorism, theft, burglary, housebreaking, armed robbery, murder and inter-ethnic clashes hitting at an all-time high, the government of Kenya has been seen to continuously emphasize on the need for citizens to cooperate with the government in rolling out community based policy initiatives such as the “Nyumba kumi” or “ten households” which calls for dividing neighborhoods in towns and villages nationwide into a cluster of ten houses that would help the police protect neighborhoods and guard against criminal activities (Kyalo, 2014).

In Nakuru Town, the level of crime has been high as it is among the fastest growing towns in the country. According to a research conducted by Security Research and Information Centre (SRIC, 2012) regarding crimes in urban slums in Kenya and specifically Mishomoroni in Mombasa, Kibera in Nairobi, Bondeni in Nakuru and Manyatta in Kisumu, it was found that theft (35.37%), was the main type of crime across the four sampled slum areas. In addition, armed robbery (15.55%), burglary/break-ins (10.67%) and murder (23.17%) were the other main typologies of crime in slum areas, accounting for combined 84.76% of crimes committed in slum areas in Kenya. According to National Crime Observatory Project Bi- Annual Report (NCOPBAR) (2012), the highest number of crime incidents reported in Nakuru were „theft‟ and „Armed robbery‟, accounting to totals of 423 and 342 incidents respectively. By extension, analysis from newspaper reports indicated that most incidences of theft and robbery occurred in major urban centers, with Nairobi having the highest number followed by Nakuru. Other prevalent crimes reported in Nakuru include: murder, break-ins, domestic violence cases, rape and defilement, assault, kidnappings, and drug/firearm trafficking and possession (NCOPBAR, 2012)....

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