Community Policing is not necessarily a new concept but one that is critical at this point in our communities’ growth and the obvious changing crime dynamics that our communities continue to experience. The recent public outcry regarding corruption within the police force makes it absolutely imperative that effective community policing initiatives be implemented across communities in Zimbabwe to ensure that we strengthen the bond and improve communication between the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), other law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. The current public perception of rampant corruption is unfair to the large number of honest and dedicated ZRP officers that respect the rule of law and the people they serve and protect just as it would be unfair to label an entire community thieves based on a few thieves that live in the community. It goes without saying that a successful community policing initiative would benefit both the public and the ZRP…
The scores of public frustration as a result of the disconnect between the ZRP and the communities has not gone unnoticed. It’s commendable that the ZRP has taken a proactive approach to initiating Community Policing with neighborhoods like Borrowdale and Avondale among others seeing a rise in public buy-in to Community Policing primarily through Neighborhood Watch initiatives. This community-oriented approach that the Police is marketing aggressively through various campaigns is sure to mend the relationships and it’s that restored trust that will be a major ingredient in fighting crime in our communities. As a resident that is seeing the benefits of this approach I urge you to get involved and play your role in fighting crime in your community.
For this Community Policing program to truly be successful, it’s important for the public to also extend a helping hand; there are many ways companies, organizations and members of the community can contribute to the success of this Community Policing Program. The first way you can help is to be open to the idea that this can work and help in reducing crime in our communities. Building the relationships between ZRP and the communities they serve will give the police better insight into the people ZRP serves and the pressing crime related issues. Better relations will also mean that the public has easier access to Constables, Sargents, Assistant Inspectors and Chief Inspectors that may seemingly be out of reach for some members of the community. The Borrowdale police, for example, has already created departments that are the point of contact for the public, making it easier for the communities to voice concerns and follow-up on concerns or to share information with the police that could lead to solving open cases or better yet preventing crime before it happens. Anyone can approach their nearest Police station to get specific details.
The Borrowdale Crime Consultative Committee made up of ZRP police officers and neighborhood watch officers is already seeing much progress in the collaborative efforts afforded by Community Policing. When the community works with the police force to help solve crime there is an increased level of creativity and resource availability in combating crime. That said, as I noted above… it’s critical that the community continue to lend a hand whenever possible and offer resources that may help to make our communities safer. The Borrowdale Crime Consultative Committee is appealing to businesses, organizations and members of the community to come through and offer any assistance and more importantly join in this truly progress way of policing and fighting crime.
Some examples of things you can do to help grow this Community Policing initiative include something as simple as volunteering to walk at risk residents home after dark, joining the Neighborhood Watch program, offering a vehicle for use by the neighborhood team, donating equipment that can include flashlights, learning about current programs and spreading the word to other members of the community… There are many ways to help, just reach out to your station to find out how.
Together with the ZRP and members of the community, including organizations and individuals,we can create a better, safer and friendly community to live in with much lower levels of crime. Remember, the goal is to stop the crime before it happens… If you share a concern for the welfare of the neighborhood then you must work closely with the police through the Community Policing initiative. Play your role today!
The Borrowdale Police Crime Consultative Committee has a facebook page here: www.facebook.com/zrpborrowdaleccc or you can use this handler @zrpborrowdaleccc from within facebook.
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Ottawa University Graduate in (Honors) Accounting. After attaining a few accounting designations and proving to myself that I can pass exams at the highest levels, I now chase after my biggest dream – HAPPINESS! My passion is progressing my community through online technologies and giving an opportunity to AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe…