Role of community policing in combating terrorism activities in Ijara Sub County , Garissa, Kenya
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Security remains a critical part of national interest for many states today. To meet their internal security demands, states have adopted practices where horizontal management tools and techniques are applied to increase public participation. One such tool is community policing adopted to bridge the gap between citizens and the police in security matters. This model has been applied in western societies and in recent times, developing countries have adopted it. In Kenya, an aspect of community policing sought to introduce citizens into security management. However, the country continues to face unprecedented security issues especially terrorist attacks which have ravaged Garissa County making it one of the most insecure areas. Therefore, this study assessed the role of community policing in combating terrorism. Specifically, the research aimed at determining the knowledge, attitude, and perception of community policing in combating terrorism activities; examined the capacity of community policing strategy in combating terrorism activities; and assessed the effectiveness of community policing strategy in combating terror activities in Ijara Sub-county, Garissa County. The institution theory and social decay theory were used to explain this phenomenon. Methodologically, a descriptive survey design was used to gather qualitative and quantitative data. Multistage sampling technique was used first, to select representative wards and second, villages. Subsequently, general households and ‘Nyumba Kumi’ representatives were selected from the villages for primary data collection using questionnaires. Purposive sampling was used to select five experts who were engaged through key informant interviews. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 25. On the other hand, qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis and presented in narrative form. This study benefits the academic community as it contributes new knowledge. The study found that community policing is a critical component in combating crime and security issues as shown by 59.6% of respondents who stated it has led to arrests and crime deterrence. Also, the community positively perceives community policing as supported by 81.3% of respondents compared to 18.7%. However, the initiative lacks sufficient resources to effectively undertake community policing which was supported by 63.3% of respondents. Besides, the study revealed that corruption and resource mismanagement were rife among the police. This makes the initiative ineffective and incapacitated to combat terrorism. Also, community participation in community policing is limited even though it exists to a small extent as supported by 58.7% and contravened by 41.3%. Lastly, cooperation levels among diverse actors has helped in effective community policing. This study recommends conducting of civic education on the general public; expanding and defining the role of the citizen; and increasing budgetary allocation towards community policing particularly if it is to combat terrorism. This study contributes to policy changes in community policing as a strategy towards combating terrorism activities. The community benefits through an effective security partnership with the state which increases participation and social well-being. Lastly, the study is critical for the security apparatus as it recommends measures and effective ways of enhancing community policing for curbing terrorism.
Africa Nazarene University