Democratic policing Indicators for local level: A program
A framework for promoting democratic policing into a set of easily applied and measurable indicators at the local level has been designed for adaption to local police station and community level priorities. The methodology guides and affirms the development of positive relationships between community and police. The approach promotes democratic policing at local level by being able to assess and measure progress.
A first, was to establish an agreed set of principles of desired standards of behaviour, drawn from codes of conduct that guide the provision of policing services, and which are informed by international human rights instruments. Then a broad basket set of indicators were developed for each principle. Specific emphasis is placed on the need for the indicators eventually agreed between local police and community co-created by the parties, drawing inspiration from the basket list provided. In this way the initiative is aimed both at being locally sensitive to needs and priorities but also to allow some comparability. The third step was the designing and developing of an implementation procedure and to establish to what degree the above-mentioned indicators are being met.
The methodology is being tested at two sites, one each in South Africa and in Nigeria. The pilots are an opportunity to engage on issues of legitimacy and rights compliance at a local level and offer an approach to addressing global issues at a local level in line with the mantra of thinking global and acting local.
Both countries have seen increasing erosion of the legitimacy of the police driven in a large part by poor service delivery, politicisation and violation of human rights. This has in turn fed community apathy and distrust and is documented across recent the Commissions of Inquiry such as those established in Nigeria set up in the wake of the End SARS campaign and the Lekki Toll Plaza Massacre and in South Africa by the 2014 Khayelitsha Commission on Enquiry and the subsequent processes. However, despite these challenges there remains sufficient political will and policy infrastructure that can meaningfully facilitate the initiative. Importantly promoting procedural justice and specifically better relations between police and community based on an agree expectation of service was a key finding of the Khayelitsha Commission.
Public Safety and Security in Nigeria
A pilot project in Nigeria to gauge public safety and security at the local level has been launched.
The Nigerian government has adopted several approaches to find a lasting solution to security issues of insurgency, banditry and security challenges at the border, but violence and insecurity continue.
In response to the Boko Haram, it has carried out armed operations, provided pardons and laying down arms1 and a rehabilitation strategy. In 2009 the gruesome killing of the leader of the group in police custody2, has led to nearly 350,0003 deaths by the Boko Haram on the Nigerian state.
Recently, some regions of the country have been victim of armed banditry that has displaced millions of residents with approximately 21 million people4 exposed to the dangers these killers. The origin of banditry in Nigeria has been argued to have started immediately after the civil war of 1967-1970. Analysts have stressed that what is known as banditry now took several forms immediately after the civil war in armed robbery, kidnapping and much more until now and this can be traced to the failure of government in ensuring the success of the disarmament program after the war5. Ongoing wars with neighbours Chad and Niger Republic have contributed to the security challenges, with the unsuccessful disarmament of people with weapons during the civil war.
How are the governance issues and security agencies response to the conditions and situations of these tensions and insecurities perceived by the common public? Have these in any manner helped to build trust and positive relationships between the common citizens and law-enforcement agencies? These are some of the issues being analysed with a digital assessment tool that increases outreach and provides continuous connectivity in cohort members of the public.
In specific the project seeks to:
- Measure the relationship between the police and the public on issues like cooperation.
- Aggregate security concerns of Nigerians in their immediate environment.
- Identify citizen priority on police accountability and legitimacy in factors for public safety.
Rapid Assessment Tool
To understanding public safety and security from the perspective of the citizens, longitudinal research is being applied to monitor the overall effect of government policies designed at fostering peace, safety, and security in the country. The government has several policies but some of these policies have not lived up to the expectation with the lives and properties of Nigerians remaining on the line.
CLEEN Foundation developed a Rapid Assessment Tool (RAT) to obtain information from citizens creating cohort members in their various environment. The tool (RAT) developed for this study has been deployed as a Mobile Computer Assisted Personal Interview (MCAPI) through the CLEEN Mobile App.
Using a descriptive-quantitative approach, the study is gathering data from citizens regarding their perceptions of safety, security challenges, crime reporting and conditions under which citizens seek assistance and service satisfaction on actions of security agencies. Key to this approach is the cohorts established and maintained for the entire process of data collection. Each cohort consists of at least 10 community residents who can give adequate information about the safety and security in their communities.
The study is being conducted in 18 states of the federation from the 6 geopolitical zones of the country and will reflect the dynamics involved in public safety and security in Nigeria. A critical criterion being the incidences of insecurity in each of regions or zones of the country.
The study has developed a database of cohort members and trained enumerators that will feed into recurring trend analysis.