Contribution of non- state actors to community policing in urban informal settlements : A case of Mlango Kubwa ward, Nairobi City County, Kenya.
Thuku, Zachary Kwenya
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Mlango Kubwa is one of the informal settlements in Nairobi located in Mathare sub-county, and has been associated with insecurity incidences such as armed robbery, burglary and looting among others. The increasing population in this area has led to mushrooming of shanties that are highly congested, making security patrols in the area difficult. To address this challenge, community policing programme has been practiced in the area, enjoining a number of non-state actors in the informal settlement. The purpose of this study was to determine the contribution of non-state actors in community policing in Mlango Kubwa, Nairobi County, Kenya. Specifically, the study examined the nature of activities undertaken by non-state actors in enhancing community policing, the extent of existing legal and policy frameworks‟ integration of non-state actors in community policing and the challenges and opportunities for cooperation between non-state actors and security agencies in implementing community policing in Mlango Kubwa, Mathare sub-county. Anchored on the broken windows theory and the democratic theory of community policing, the study adopted a descriptive survey design; adopting both quantitative and quantitative approaches to data collection. From a target population of 11,613 comprising of household heads, religious leaders, community-based organizations, national police service, national government administration officers and civil society organizations representatives, the study sampled 385 respondents were sampled, using simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques. Primary data was collected from the respondents using both questionnaires and key informant interviews guide. A reliability coefficient of 0.877 obtained using the Cronbach Alpha measure of internal consistency and face validity were used to ensure the tools were fit for purpose. The study generated both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data generated was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in tables and figures while qualitative data was organized into themes and the content thereof analysed and reported in verbatim to corroborate the findings from the questionnaires. The study found out that most respondents (87.6%) were aware of community policing activities by non-state actors in the study area. These activities included collaboration with the community (63.1%), formulating plans for community policing (27.8%), sensitizing people and communities (56.2%) and undertaking community policing coordination (22.7%). Lack of trust and cooperation, and lack of resources necessary for community policing were reported as challenges undermining the work of non-state actors. Availability of resources could be a major step towards improving community policing in the area. The study concludes that training for community policing to the community was inadequate, and usually took long. The study concludes that non-state actors had a positive contribution to community policing in the area. The study recommends training of the community as well as the police officers in various aspects of community policing. The study also recommends such strategies as trust building by the government and civil society organizations to the residents, and availing of resources necessary for community policing. The study will be significant to the national government, policy makers, community and scholars.
Africa Nazarene University