IMPACT OF SECURITY SYNERGY BETWEEN THE POLICE AND COMMUNITY POLICING ON THE CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED RIGHTS IN NIGERIA
The escalation of criminal activities in recent times in Nigeria has necessitated the invention of a new approach to crime control and prevention. Ordinarily, the police are saddled with the responsibility of crime prevention and control. However, the high rate of violent crimes, political thuggery, kidnapping, bombing, vandalism, prostitution and corruption has led to the adoption of community policing strategy in most localities to supplement the efforts of the Nigerian Police in combating crimes. Community policing is a strategic effort at co-opting and utilizing the people to prevent crime among the people by the people themselves. It is therefore the position of this study that in this synergy between the police and community policing strategy fundamental rights of the people have been grossly violated. The methodology adopted in this work is descriptive and analytical. The dissertation describes the philosophical foundation, organization and management of community policing. It also analyses the implications of the adoption of community policing on the components of the criminal justice system. The study concludes that police is confronted with numerous challenges which if not tackled will hamper their work and leave the citizenry at the mercy of recidivists. However, the introduction of community policing outfits appears to have brought hope in crime control and prevention. Consequently, the police effectively and efficiently patrol the streets with the complementary role of community policing outfits. But the notwithstanding the immense benefits of this security synergy, both the police and community policing outfits flagrantly violate people’s fundamental rights and the need to address the challenges for fundamental human rights confronting the police and community policing outfits must be addressed. As part of the recommendations, the study maintains that the police must recognize that it is in its interest to provide officers who are competent, honest and responsive to the needs of the community. Also, it must follow the guiding values central to community policing which include trust, cooperation, communication, ingenuity, integrity, initiative, discretion, leadership, responsibility, respect and a broad end commitment to public safety and security. Consequently, the police must establish an effective partnership with the community as a whole the foundation of which is mutual trust, and understanding.