Community policing as a strategy for crime prevention in Uganda: A case study of Lira District 1998 - 2008.
Aropet, Odia Godfrey
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The study analyzed community policing as a strategy of crime prevention and conflict management. Community policing was established in Uganda as a as a proactive policy in 1980s to curb down rampant crimes that were then witnessed in the capital city of Kampala. As community policing strategy became successful around Kampala, the government of Uganda made a country wide strategy to curb down crimes in all Districts. At the same time the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency and devastating cattle rustling by the Karimojong warriors in the northern part of the country and specifically Lira District with devastating consequences, and creating a situation of conflict. This study looks at community policing as a strategy to address the crime and conflict situation in the District.. The strategy has had external variables that supported its success. They include; the police who have been at the center and in practice, the army, the NGOs, the CSOs and the local councils that had been supported by the people. At the end, the study reveals the strengths and the weaknesses of community policing in crime prevention. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques of research methods were employed by the researcher. Three methods (interviews of the respondents, focused group discussions and observation) were employed to collect data from respondents. The information collected was organized according to chapters in order to make meaningful presentation, conclusions and recommendations of the study. Accordingly the findings of the study reveals that community policing as a strategy to prevent crime has been successful in the reduction of crimes like murder, robbery, rape, and it has been proven a useful tool in the management of the conflict in Lira District. In the conclusion, the study presents that community policing has proved useful in prevention of crime and management of conflict. In order to make it more successful, the researcher recommends implementers to engender the program and increase youth participation since these are the groups most involved in and affected by crime and conflict. Finally, the study recommends the empowerment of the key implementers of the strategy so as to fully exploit its potential in prevention of crime and as a tool for management of conflict. This will also help address apparent gaps between policy and implementation.