According to Wikipedia, an online encyclopaedia, community policing or community-oriented policing, is a strategy of policing that focuses on police building ties and working closely with members of the communities.
The United States Department of Justice defines community policing as a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies in the community to combat potential situations that might create public safety issues. For instance, crime, social unrest and fear of crime are all public safety issues that community policing seeks to address.
There have been debates on the effectiveness of community policing in the reduction of crime in country. It is evident that community policing may not end all the challenges being faced today security wise, it would however reduce it to the barest minimum.
Community policing involves the use of partnerships between municipal agencies, businesses, individual citizens, non-profit groups and the media in order to develop methods to police the community. These organizations work together to address criminal matters and reduce crime. Instead of simply leaving it to the police force, community policing revolves around a philosophy that the entire community can help take measures to prevent crime.
Developed nations in the world today who have the best of security agencies still experience incidences of crime. However, it has been proved that in developed nations that practice community policing, that there is a positive correlation between community policing and reduction in crime.
Community policing involves community cooperation in creating a safe and secured environment for the community. It gives the people power to effectively run their own affairs and defend their domain. If a typical community in Nigeria can govern themselves, then they should also be able to effectively police themselves appropriately.
The main focus in community policing is the community involvement in combating crime and disorder. This will even become more effective in a setting like Nigeria where communal relationships is deeply entrenched in our cultural fabric.
According to experts, it is easier to solve crimes locally than to involve federal agencies who are alien to the community and do not under workings in the community to an extent.