Community Policing Assignment
“Community policing can mean different things to different people. Throughout the world, there is a range of different models and structures in existence. Essentially however, Community Policing is best defined not in terms of a single structure but as a philosophy. “ (Connolly J ( 2004 )p.13 )
When exploring Community Policing it is a very good starting point to explore the concept as a philosophy rather than a single aspect of any one role of An Garda Siochana. There is a substantial difference between what the police are “a body of people patrolling public places in blue uniforms, with a broad mandate of crime control, order maintenance and some negotiable social service functions” (Reiner, 1985). The function of policing is not solely the remit of the police the community, cctv camera’s, security companies bouncers etc all provide policing roles.
The importance of communities becoming involved in problem solving cannot be underestimated and this includes Gardai getting involved in their local communities providing structures, supports and role models for the people living in those communities. Traditional policing methodology has been questioned regarding its perceived lack of effectiveness in crime prevention. Traditional policing does not focus on prevention but ‘fire fights’ or is reactive in nature, they deal mainly with the results of crime rather than the causes. The focus on major crime tends to ignore the smaller far more prevalent crimes engaged in within a community which impact on far more of the community. In areas with high levels of unemployment, social and material deprivation a community can often feel detached from the decision-making processes with the Gardai. This view is endorsed by O’Mahony (2002) p.427 “In certain especially disadvantaged areas, there are mutually hostile and suspicious attitudes between the police and large sectors of the population”.
While community Gardai are assigned to...