Volume 16, Issue 2 (2020) | Community-Oriented Policing after Conflict—Emerging Evidence


doi: 10.12924/johs2020.16020001 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Ingrid Nyborg 1, * and Daniel Juddson Lohmann 1
1 Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), As, Norway
* Corresponding author
Publication Date: 5 May 2020
Abstract: The world is increasingly interconnected - insecurity in one country can both directly and indirectly affect the security of people, countries and regions that are far away. Therefore, when conflict erupts in one part of the world, the international community responds in various ways to mitigate its effects, both locally and internationally. Whether it be through the provision of police, military and/or civilian personnel, humanitarian assistance, or post-conflict development assistance, the international community has repeatedly attempted to mitigate the effects of conflict, as well as to contribute to reforms which might lead to the prevention of local and global insecurity in the future. This Special Issue is dedicated to exploring community-oriented policing (COP) and police reform in a series of post-conflict contexts: Kosovo, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Kenya. The papers are based on mixed-methods research conducted under the EU-funded project ‘Community-Oriented Policing and Post-Conflict Police Reform’ (ICT4COP 2015-2020). In this project, and in the papers in this special issue, we explore how police reform in volatile contexts has taken place, and whether a focus on COP approaches rather than militarized approaches might be more effective in building trust, preventing violence and ensuring human security.

doi: 10.12924/johs2020.16020009 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Stig Jarle Hansen
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway
Publication Date: 6 May 2020
Abstract: This article asks how variations of state territorial control have influenced police missions in the recent past, and illustrate how recent police reforms were based on the structure of a ‘western’ type state with clearly identifiable formal state institutions enjoying autonomy, that strive for a form of territorial monopoly over violence. The article argues for moving beyond such assumptions by adopting scenarios based on how territory is controlled, developing four scenarios that can enable foreign-backed police missions to adapt to local circumstances. The article draws upon the typology of territorial control developed by Hansen in 2017/2019, amending this model to be adapted for policing. It argues that each of these scenarios require different strategies and compromises in order to create functioning police forces.

doi: 10.12924/johs2020.16020019 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Ingvild Magnæs Gjelsvik
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo, Norway
Publication Date: 18 May 2020
Abstract: A reform is underway in Kenya, aimed at transforming the police organization into a people- centred police service. Among other things, this involves enhancing police-public trust and partnerships through community policing (COP). Two state-initiated COP models have been implemented: the National Police Service’s Community Policing Structure, and the Nyumba Kumi model of the President’s Office. On paper, police reform and the two COP models would appear to have the potential to improve police-public cooperation. In practice, however, implementation has proven difficult. Interviews and meetings with local community organizations, community representatives and police officers in urban and rural parts of Kenya indicate that scepticism towards the two COP models is common, as is refusal to engage in them. But why is this so? Why are these two COP models unsuccessful in enhancing police-public trust and cooperation? This article analyses how various contextual factors—such as conflicting socio-economic and political interests at the community and national levels, institutional challenges within the police, the overall role and mandate of the police in Kenya, and a top-down approach to COP—impede the intended police paradigm shift.

doi: 10.12924/johs2020.16020031 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
A. Heather Coyne 1, * and Ingrid Nyborg 2
1 Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, United Nations, Amman, Jordan
2 Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway
* Corresponding author
Publication Date: 10 June 2020
Abstract: Most international support for community policing focuses primarily if not exclusively on capacity building of the government, namely Ministries of Interior and police forces. For structural reasons, these organizations—in and of themselves—are often not the most appropriate partners to launch or sustain community-oriented policing initiatives, especially in the early phases of police reform. This paper presents an alternative to the ministry-centric approach in the form of civil society-driven programming for police reform. Using the case of police reform in Afghanistan in the late 2000s, we argue that a focus on community engagement, accountability, and responsiveness to the needs of the population can lead to improved human security even in post-conflict countries. Although a grassroots approach may seem daunting international actors more familiar with strategic advising at the ministerial level, we find that it provides an opportunity for more sustainable and effective engagement than ministry-centric efforts alone. Our experience from the Afghanistan case also shows, however, that a civil society approach is not a standalone—it needs to be complemented by ministerial initiatives as government has the central role in directing police reform. Adding a civil society component can make the official efforts more likely to succeed.

doi: 10.12924/johs2020.16020044 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Stian Lid 1, * and Clifford Collins Omondi Okwany 2
1 Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
2 Department of Political Science and Public Administration, The University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
* Corresponding author
Publication Date: 18 June 2020
Abstract: Community-oriented policing (COP) has become an important innovation in policing throughout the world, with variations among countries and regions, and over time. We identify and discuss contextual factors that determine the formation of COP policies, by investigating two contradictory national COP policies in Kenya: Constitutional Community Policing and Nyumba Kumi. Our study draws on primary data collection and secondary literature on contextual factors. The two competing Kenyan COP policies show, first, that there are significant variations in the nature and content of policing policies defined as COP; secondly, that the diversified and competing local contexts in transitional countries, involving reform processes while key elements of the past regimes are maintained, create significant room for manoeuvre for the actors involved. That enables the formation of radically different COP policies, in Kenya represented by a reformative COP policy as well as a repressive COP policy. Thirdly, the Kenyan case illustrates the risk of subversion of core intentions of COP: government actors have promoted COP policies focused more on information flow than on democratization and police reform. As a result, COP in Kenya has become more of an instrument for surveillance than a tool for protecting the citizenry. This development demonstrates clear historical continuities with colonial policing, significantly enabled by the emerging threat of terrorism. We argue that COP policies building on such criteria are counterproductive and are likely to fail. To avoid the misuse of the label ‘COP’ and legitimation of repressive policing practices, a common coherent definition of COP is required—one that at least ensures the needs and rights of citizens and local communities.

doi: 10.12924/johs2020.16020055 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Qasim Ali Shah 1 , Bahadar Nawab 1, * , Ingrid Nyborg 2 and Noor Elahi 1
1 Department of Development Studies, COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Abbottabad Campus, Pakistan
2 Department of International Environment and Development Studies-Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norway
* Corresponding author
Publication Date: 12 August 2020
Abstract: Unlike other faith-based conflicts, the militancy in Swat seems unique, as militants used religion for promoting their agenda and giving voices to the grievances of the poor people through a popular narrative likely without knowing narratology. Using narratives and narratology as a theoretical framework, this qualitative study is an effort to understand the essence of militants' narrative in Swat and the mechanism through which they steered it up until the time it gained verisimilitude. Conducting 73 semi-structured interviews, the study finds that it was a planned strategy of the militants that popularized them in Swat, while they later lost this support due to their atrocities against general populace. The militants used the socially and culturally constructed narrative through FM radio and motivated the masses to follow their ideology and brand of Islamic Sharia. The study concludes that the formulation and popularization of social narratives play vital roles in social movements and conflicts to muster popular support for promoting vested interests that can be used against the state and general public.

doi: 10.12924/johs2020.16020066 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Fabienne Lieveke Rie Coenders
Ruhr University Bochum
Publication Date: 9 December 2020
Abstract: This study aims to identify insecurities among youth in Kosovo, constituting the largest age group. Some of the identified insecurities and respective resolutions are related to the role of and attitudes toward police in Kosovo, who are the main formal security provider in Kosovo. This is addressed in the first part of the article. The second part addresses these attitudes toward police, analysing youth perspectives on performance, procedural justice and distributive justice. Primary data from semi-structured focus group discussions with Kosovar youth are used for the analyses. Five key types of insecurities were identified: (1) job-related (unemployment), (2) drug-related, (3) school-related, (4) physical and (5) inequality-related. Results also show that attitudes toward police are predominantly poor and seem to stem mainly from a performance perspective, followed by a procedural justice perspective.

doi: 10.12924/johs2021.16020082 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Shai André Divon 1, * and Arthur Owor 2
1 Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway
2 Centre for African Research, Gulu City, Uganda
* Corresponding author
Publication Date: 24 February 2021
Abstract:

This paper analyses the origin and evolution of the Aguu, a group of street youth/children labelled as a criminal gang operating in the streets of Gulu, Uganda. Based on a series of interviews, focus group discussions, participant observations, archival work and literature review, the paper traces the origin of the Aguu to the conflict in Northern Uganda, and describes the transformation of the Aguu from street youth/children linked to war and displacement to their present day labelling as ‘criminal gang’. Anchored in an analysis based on Assemblage Theory, this paper demonstrates the complexity, multiplicity and fluidity of the Aguu identity as a group whose inception and evolution, both internal and external, occurs through a process of relationship between social, political, economic and infrastructural changes linked to war, culture, aid and politics, affecting present day security discourses in Gulu, Uganda.


doi: 10.12924/johs2021.16020097 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Arturo Matute
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the Valley of Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Publication Date: 22 March 2021
Abstract: The paper describes the process of security sector reform in Guatemala with reference to the efforts to implement community-based policing practices. The results point to the difficulties of shaking-off public understandings of security honed during the armed conflict and underscore the efforts of a still young police institution to position itself in a democratic context. The study posits that community-oriented policing strategies open opportunities to forward police reform in the high-violence, low-trust, weak-institutions, and post-conflict context of Guatemala. The argument is supported by field data gathered in indigenous territories in the Western Highlands, where traditional forms of social organization persist, and in metropolitan Villa Canales municipality, an urban, high-violence site of research.

doi: 10.12924/johs2021.16020111 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Jaishankar Ganapathy 1, * , Tor Damkaas 1 and Alf Halvar Naesje 2
1 Norwegian Police University College, Oslo, Norway
2 The Centre Party, Hedmark and Oppland, Norway
* Corresponding author
Publication Date: 20 May 2021
Abstract: Police reform in post-conflict societies is increasingly important in international peace support operations. Post-conflict situations are complex, and addressing security and insecurity issues is therefore challenging. Evaluations, field reports and research have frequently highlighted challenges related to how assistance is provided in connection with police reform. A common finding in these evaluations is that police reform programmes without local ownership and community involvement and support have little chance of succeeding. Community-oriented policing (COP) has therefore become an important policing philosophy and strategy in this context. This paper addresses issues related to the challenges in implementation of police reform by exploring the perennial question of how police assistance can be better utilised in a sustainable manner in post-conflict contexts. The paper is divided in two sections. In the first, we identify some key challenges facing international police assistance. Here we discuss six main challenges grounded in secondary literature comprising academic research and police mission reports. In the next section using the example of a broadly based police experts network (PEN) established in connection with the EU-funded research project ‘Community-Based Policing and Post-Conflict Police Reform’, the paper discusses how such a network can play an important role in contributing to policy formation, education and training programme development for use in police reform projects. The creation of the e-handbook and e-learning shows the potential for such a network to work and contribute in a cross-disciplinary manner. Furthermore, we identify four key ways in which this type of network can contribute to improved international police assistance. The work is exploratory and contributes to understanding of the complexities of police assistance in post-conflict contexts.

doi: 10.12924/johs2021.16020134 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Ingrid L.P. Nyborg 1, * and Bahadar Nawab 2
1 Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
2 Department of Development Studies, COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Abbottabad Campus, Pakistan
* Corresponding author
Publication Date: 7 June 2021
Abstract:

This paper explores the transition from military to civil security in post-militancy and subsequent militant operations in 2009 and the floods of 2010 in the Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan. Based mainly on qualitative interviews with local police and community women and men, the paper examines the shifting roles of the police over the course of these crises and how community-police relations are continuously negotiated.  Before the conflict, relations between the community and police were weak, and traditional institutions such as the jirga were functioning. Militants attacked both systems, targeting police, politicians, jirga leaders and education institutions. Following the military operation, the responsibility for security became a confusing institutional landscape of civil and military actors, which has reshaped community-police relations in Swat. Dichotomous distinctions between state and non-state, formal and informal institutions fall short in describing the everyday dynamic crafting of local institutions, particularly in a post-conflict context like Swat. New ‘hybrid’ institutions have emerged, initiated by both government and communities, with varying degrees of success in building trust and addressing peoples’ fears that militants may return. The results are relevant for both post-conflict development assistance and police and justice reform not only in the study area, but also in other post-conflict areas where states and communities find themselves re-negotiating their basic relationships.


doi: 10.12924/johs2021.16020149 | Volume 16 (2020) | Issue 2
Shai Andre Divon
Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway
Publication Date: 23 June 2021
Abstract:

In 2017 the Uganda Police Force (UPF) issued a Strategy for Community Policing (COP). The aim of the strategy is to provide a framework for the operationalisation of COP in the country. COP in Uganda is viewed both as a philosophy and an organisational strategy aiming at promoting new partnerships between the police and the community. This research examines how the UPF applies the COP strategy in Gulu Uganda to create new partnerships between the police and the community as part of the preparation for transforming Gulu into a city in Uganda. Anchored in qualitative research conducted in 2018–2019 in Gulu municipality, we examined COP in theory and practice. We fleshed out the different COP interventions installed by the police, observed how these applications of COP are perceived by the community and local leadership, and evaluated the extent to which these applications and perceptions contribute to creating new partnerships between the police and the public, as well as how these constitute an operationalisation of the UPF strategy for COP. There are several interventions labelled as COP in Gulu, including joint patrols, Mayumba Kumi, sensitisation activities, and partnerships with NGOs. Most of these applications are ‘old wine in new bottles’ and do not qualify as attempts to create new partnerships between the police and the public. In linkage to the mode of governance exercised by the Government of Uganda, the data collected indicates that the public at large still views the police as a corrupt, unpredictable, and a violent force that serves the interests of elites rather than a public service. As long as the police is viewed in such a way, it is difficult to create meaningful partnerships between the police and the public, and subsequently it becomes difficult to successfully apply the UPF COP strategy.


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