A security expert, Aminu Musa Audu, says community policing may not work in Nigeria because of a wide communication gap between the police and communities.
He stated this in the United Kingdom while addressing the British Sociological Association at its annual conference held virtually on April 12, 2021.
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Audu, who delivered a paper titled ‘The Culture of Stigma Still Favours Him: Community Policing, Stigmatization and Ability to Report Crime In Nigeria’, cited focus group discussions and interviews with 30 officers and 40 members of public in Kogi State of Nigeria for research conducted at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.
He said the communication gap was partly occasioned by the negative influence of the socio-cultural factors such as community stigma affecting the ability and willingness of the community to report crime to the police in Nigeria.
He said in a focus group discussion, a 32-year-old male police officer told him that: ‘On the part of victims of rape and other forms of domestic crime for example, there are some culturally related impediments to our investigation processes. For instance, a lady that fell victim of rape may likely not report to the police for fear of stigmatization that might be associated with it. What is obvious here is how to prove beyond reasonable doubt before the court of law…’
Audu recommended what he called drastic socio-cultural re-orientation through advocacy with the community and security providers followed by a critical review of the related social regulations and laws for an improved crime reporting mechanism in Nigeria.
”Although, trust building is as vital as the practice of community policing strategy among the contending stakeholders in the security industry, however, it’s more or less premised on factors which are exclusively inter-dependent of one another,” he said.