Leonard U. Ngwu, Chukwuma Clement Ahuruonye


The study focused on the concept of community policing and its effectiveness in “order maintenance, crime prevention and fear reduction in the community as opposed to the traditional focus on prosecution of serious street crimes based on ‘jungle justice’. The study highlighted the performances of both the formal security agent (the police) and the informal security agents (the Neighbourhood watch/vigilante groups). This paper, therefore, reviewed the activities of each of the security agents, using the synergy of communitarian theory of community policing and the democratic theory of community policing as the theoretical base. The paper mainly utilized secondary source of data from the existing literature, including books and journal articles as well as the Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The paper revealed that police corruption, brutality, insensitivity, high-handedness, extortionist tendencies, rudeness, ignorance among others, and on the part of the informal groups deviating from their original duty schedule by taking unilateral actions, such as, meddling with husband/wife issues, aligning with politicians to unleash terror on their political, business or other opposers in the community, debt collectors, et cetera. The former (police attitude) resulted in lack of co-operation with the police and the public in giving the police information on crime situation in their respective communities. Despite these limitations, community policing is imperative in maintaining safety and crime-free society in Nigeria. In this regard, the paper advocates for the establishment of informal cum formal security apparatus in all streets, communities and towns (where possible) as the safest method of crime prevention, fear reduction, greater satisfaction and involvement by the citizens, cordial community- police relations, social cohesion, flow of information from citizens and enhanced quality of community life.


The Efficacy, Community Policing in Nigeria

Full Text:



Ajayi, J.O. & Aderinto, A.A. (2008), Crime Wave and Public Confidence in Oodua People’s Congress in Lagos Nigeria, African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Vol. 11 (2).

Akinyele, R.T. (2008). Informal Policing in Lagos: A Case study of Oshodi/Mafoluku, Lagos- Centre for African Regional Integration and Border Studies” (CARIBS), University of Lagos, pp. 156-173.

Alasdair, M.C. (1984). After Virtue: Notre Dame IN: U of Notre Dame.

Albanese, J.S. (2001), Criminal Justice, Brief Edition, Needham Heights, Allyn and Bacon.

Alemika, E.E. O & Chukwuma, I.C. (2000), “Police-Community Violence in Nigeria, Lagos, Centre for Law Enforcement Education and National Human Rights Commission,” p.11.

Alemika, E.E.O. & Chukwuma, I.C. (2005). The Poor and Informal Policing in Nigeria: A Report on Poor Perception and Priorities on Safety, Security and Informal Policing in A2J Focal States in Nigeria: Lagos.

Amitai Etzioni (2006). What is Political? CSA World wide Political Science Abstracts 2006. Available at SSRN (

Amitai, Etzioni (1998). The Essential Communitarian Reader, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

Amnesty International (2002), “Nigeria: Vigilante Violence in the South-South and Southeast.” (Retrieved 10th May, 2017)

Arnstein, S.R. (1969), “A Ladder of Citizen Participation”, JAIP, Vol. 35, No.4, July 1969, pp.216-224.

Bayley, D.H. (2005), “Community Policing”, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial Lectures) (1984-2004), SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad.

Box, Richard (1998). Citizen Governance Leading American Communities into the 21st Century, Thousand Oaks, C.A., SAGE Publication.

Bracht, N. & Tsouros, A. (1990). “Principles and Strategies of Effective Community Participation.” Health Promot Int 1990. 5199-208.208.

Carlaw, R.W., Mittlemark, M.B., Btacht, N., et al., (1984), “Organization For a Community Cardiovascular Health Program: Experiences from the Minnesota Heart Health Program.” Health Educ. Q 1984. 11243-252-252.

Chukwu, I. (2004), “Justice Sector Reform” (Retrieved 10th, May 2017).

Chukwuma, I. (2005). “Responding to Vigilantism: Human Rights Dialogue: Public Security and Human Rights.” (Retrieved 10th May, 2017).

CLEEN Foundation (2005), “Justice Sector Reform” (Retrieved 10th May, 2017).

Dambazau, A.B. (1994). Law and Criminality in Nigeria, Ibadan: University Press Plc.

Dambazau, A.B. (2012), Criminology and Criminal Justice, Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.

Dambazau, A.B. (2015), “Criminology and Criminal Justice” in Ugwoke, C.U. Criminology: Explaining Crime in the Nigerian Context, 2nd ed., University of Nigeria Press Ltd.

Dennis, J. Stevens (2001), Case Studies in Community Policing, Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Enekwe, P. (2005), “Community Policing: What does it really mean? In service News, Enugu State Police Service Bulletin No. 7, February – March, pp.8-9.

Friedman, Robert R. (1992). Community Policing: Comparative Perspectives and Prospects, New York: St Martins Press.

Friedman, R.R. (2003), “Community Policing: Comparative Perspectives and Prospects” Vertical Interaction Course on Community Policing, SVP, National Police Academy, Hyderabad, 14-19 July, 2003.

Groenewald, H. & Peake, G. (2004). Police Reform Through Community-Based Policing: Philosophy and Guidelines for Implementation. Policy paper, September 2004.

Haralambos, M., Holborn, M., Chapman, S., & Moore, S. (2013). Sociology: Themes and Perspectives, 8th ed., Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

Hillery, G.A. (1955), “Definitions of Community Areas of Agreement”, Rural Sociology, 20.

Hudson, B. (2003). Justice in the Risk Society, Sage Publications, London.

Human Rights Watch and CLEEN Foundation (2002). “The Bakassi Boys: The Legitimization of Murder and Torture. Vol. 14, No. 5 (A)” May, 2002. Lagos.

Jafa, Y.S. (2001). “Zero Tolerance Policing” SVP National Police Academy Journal Vol. 53, No. 2, July-December, 2001.

Jannifer O’Connor Boes and Callie J. CHANDLER (2012), “Police Integrity: Use of Personality Measures to Identify Corruption Prone Officers”, in Dambazau, A.B., Criminology and Criminal Justice, Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.

Jeffery, C. Ray (1971), Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Beverly Hills, SAGE.

Kinsey, R., John Lea & Young, J. (2013). “Loosing the Fight Against Crime” in Haralambos, M., et al., Sociology: Themes and Perspectives, 8th ed., London: Harper Collins Publisher Ltd.

Kreuter, M.U., Lezin, N.A. & Young, L.A. (2000), “Evaluating Community-Based Collaborative Mechanisms: Implications for Practitioners.” Health Promot Pract 2000. 149-63.63.

LaGrange, R.L. (1993). Policing American Society, Chicago, Nelson-hall Publishers.

Lombardo, R. & Lough, T. (2007). “Community Policing: Broken Windows, Community Building and Satisfaction with the Police” The Police Journal, Vol. 80, No.2, Vathek Publishing, U.K.

Lubuva, J. (2004), “Community Approach to Security, Social Inclusion and Development in Tanzania. A paper presented at the Dialogue on promotion Coexistence and security in the Information Society, Barcelona, September 9-11, 2004.

Lyons, W. (2005), “Welcome to Common Wealth Police, E. Magazine” (http://www.humanright.intiative.orJpolice-maWinnovation.practice.html. (Retrieved 10th May, 2017)

Newman, Oscar (1973), Defensible Space: Crime Prevention through Urban Design, New York: Macmillan.

Ngwu, L.U. (2014), “A Sociological Analysis of Urbanization and Armed Robbery in Enugu Metropolis, Enugu State of Nigeria”, An Unpublished Ph.D Thesis in the Department of Sociology, Kogi State University, Anyigba.

Peak, J.K & Glensor, R.W. (1996). Community Policing and Problem Solving: Strategies and Practices, Prentice Hall: New Jersey

Pochara Theerathorn (1988), “Architectural Style, Aesthetic Landscaping, Home Value, and Crime Prevention”, in International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 12 (1988) 269-277.

Ramaswamy, S. (2004). Political Theory - Ideas and Concepts, Macmillan India Ltd., Delhi.

Reak, Kenneth J & Ronald W. Glensor (1996), Community Policing and Problem Solving: Strategies and Practices, Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Rotomi, K. (2001). The Police in a Federal State: The Nigerian Experience, Ibadan, College Press Ltd.

Sandel, M.J. (1998), Liberalism and the Limit of Justice (2nd ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521567416.

Siegel, L.J. (2007). Criminology, Theories, Patterns and Typologies, 9th ed., Canada: Thomson Learning Inc. 18.

Soyombo, O. (2009). “Sociology and Crime: That we may live in peace” being an inaugural Lecture delivered at the University of Lagos Main Auditorium on Wednesday, 10th June.

Sunday Sun (2004), August 1, p.2 Lagos.

Swapna, S.P. (2010), “Community Policing in a Democratic Society: A Study of Cyberbad Police Commissionerate in Andhra Pradesh (2004-2007). A Ph.D. Thesis in Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad-500046, India.

The Guardian (Lagos), September 23, 2005, p.10.

The Nigeria Police Force (2005), “Community Policing”, Tuesday, May 5, 2015, p.24.

The Punch (Lagos), August 11, 2004, p.1

Trajanowicz, R & Bucquerouz, B. (1988), Community Policing: Rhetoric or Reality? New York: Praeger.

Tylor, C. (2001). Source of the Self. Cambridge: Harvest University Press, ISBN 0674824261

Ugwuoke, C.U. (2015), Criminology: Explaining Crime in the Nigerian Context, 2nd ed., University of Nigeria Press Ltd.

Wilson, J.Q & Kelling, G.L. (1989). Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why they do it, Basic Books, New York.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN (Print): 2276-8645


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.