Community Policing

Community Policing is an approach that permits the police and community to work closely together in order to solve the problems of crime, fear of crime, physical and social disorder and neighborhood falloff. Community policing in Bangladesh started as pilot initiative in the early 1990s. Police along with United Nations, NGOs and community based organizations are on frank attempt to bring the community and the police together in resolving problems prevailing at the community level aimed at ensuring social peace and stability.

The objectives of community policing are to (i) minimize the gap between the citizens and the police, (ii) raise public awareness, (iii) keep the people away from committing crime, (iv) build citizens’ trust on the police, (v) rehabilitate criminals, and (vi) strengthen the rule of law and establish good governance.

In line with Bangladesh Community Policing Strategy, Bangladesh police have taken up the wards of urban and rural local government edifice as the basic units to implement community policing and as per the formulation guideline, Community Policing Forums (CPFs) at the ward level is supposed to perform the core functions of the community policing system in Bangladesh. There are two types of committees at the ward level - the Executive Committee and the other is the Advisory Committee. The Ward Committee and CPFs are overseen by a coordination committee at the Union Parishad level. At the police station, there is a Thana (Police Station) Coordination Convening Committee and in the district, there is a District Coordination Committee.

An effective institutional set up is necessary for an effective and expanded response of community policing. As part of effort to attain dynamic community policing, increasing strategic partnerships and engagement with local civil society organizations has the potential to strengthen the quality and increase the scope of community policing efforts at the grassroots level. Formation of community level committee attracting dedicated and honest members of the society and interaction between policy and community on regular interval is must. Equipment facility, regular training program and engagement of non-political, qualified and honest person having good reputation across level are essential to the success of community policing. Civil society, therefore, should come forward to consider expanding, and better coordinating, concept of community policing as well as support for and monitoring of community policing functions.