Citizens on patrol: mobile technology in enhancing community policing
Mutheki, Tropister Njeri
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Economies the world over thrives on the existence of security and the upholding of laws, police departments are entrusted with both of these roles. Policing has evolved over many centuries having begun back in the 900 A.D. With time the policing modes and styles have changed to suit the needs of people. An emerging concept in the policing world is known as community policing. It’s a policing model that views communities as police partners in solving crimes. This concept is being adopted both in the developed and developing world with visible success. A notable example is the city of Singapore that has been ranked safest city in the world since 1996. Kenya has also adopted community policing and has implemented it in varying degrees throughout the country. This study found out that communities and police officers are not satisfied with the current implementation of community policing. Among the reasons cited was communication, community members are fearful of being seen at the police stations and thus shy away from reporting crimes to the police officers. This study explored ways mobile technology can be used to counter such problems in community policing making it more efficient and effective. From the research 85% of the respondents regarded mobile technology as a practical and simple way to ease communication in community policing. Confidentiality is an issue that community members regard very highly and they want their communication with the police to maintain confidentiality. Both parties involved in community based policing indicated that they would be willing to use technology in implementing community based policing.